top of page

The Catch-22 Experience Gap

When you run a career coaching service focused specifically on the job search needs of recent college graduates, there is a risk in writing a blog post that references a book first published in 1961! But what a book it was and many of you may have read "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller in one of your college courses over the past four years.

The book and the subsequent movie were so successful that the phrase "Catch-22" became part of the American lexicon. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a Catch-22 as: "a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule".

So, what is the Catch-22 for your first job search? You are looking for that first full-time professional job. That likely means that you have little to no full time work experience in your chosen career. But every job posting you find states a requirement for one or more years of relevant work experience. And there is the Catch-22. You need that first job to gain experience. But every job requires experience. So how do you win?

There are two interesting articles on the topic that I recommend you read this week.

The first article comes from the Harvard Business Review and is aptly titled "How to Get a Job Without Experience". Remember that in your first job out of college you will be paid in equal parts salary and experience. And the experience will be just as valuable as the cash in your bank account. Read the article here.

The second article comes from Fast Company and asks the question "How Can I Get A Good Job With No Experience". Among many excellent suggestions, the answer comes down to some of the strategies we coach at AdvantEdge Careers: Honest Skills Assessment; Job and Company Research; Turn Your Life Story into an Elevator Pitch; and Professional Networking. Read the article here.

Stay positive, remain confident, prepare, and maybe find a good career coach if needed! You can get past this Catch-22 and start adding experience to your resume in no time.


bottom of page