How do I transform my Bachelor's in Business into an actual career?

I have a bachelor's in business degree with no experience. I had a really good job in college that was not related to my degree, I paid myself through college so quitting my job for a low paying internship was not an option. In hindsight I regret not taking a pay cut so that I could take an internship but can't do much about that now.

As you all may know, business in a very broad degree with many soft skills, not very technical. I have good grades and I have never been fired from a job. Having a very tough time even landing an interview. There's so many options that appear to need specific work experience that I just don't have. I come across nothing but entry level jobs that require 2-3 years of experience and internships that are friendly only to current students and recent graduates. Not very many companies out there willing to train.

How do I funnel all my skills into an actual career path? Where can I look for work so that I can transform my skills into an actual job?



I think an important factor is what you want to do exactly (as you said, "Business" is relatively broad). I've seen people with Business degrees go into Finance, Marketing, Operations, Customer Success, Sales, etc. Depending on where you want to go, you can leverage your prior experience to help fit the experience requirements. For example, any type of customer service job cultivates skills that are important in many of these roles. You could also take specific one-off classes (such as if they are requiring knowledge of Excel or SQL or some other software) to fulfill the "experience with" aspect. Keep in mind that jobs descriptions ALWAYS ask for more qualifications than required; it's worth it to apply even if you think you are underqualified. As always, networking is extremely helpful getting a foot in the door - if you have any friends or acquaintances that could help provide an introduction that is usually a big plus. And most importantly, don't let yourself "stagnate". If nothing else, volunteer at an interesting company, attend events, write a blog, or do something else personally fulfilling that will boost your resume while you continue to look for your next role.

Thanks for the reply, Emily! This is exactly what I was looking for because my morale has been pretty low after constantly seeing associate or entry-level jobs that require 2-3 years of experience.

Out of curiosity, did you also see entry level jobs with unreasonable expectations when you first got started? If you did, how did you get around it?

I didn't experience that specific experience directly because I interviewed with a large firm while still in college, but I definitely experienced it in my job transition around the 5 year post-college mark. I was trying to move from a large firm consulting M&A role into a private tech startup Finance role which can be a tough leap. I was able to do it by employing some of the advice that Chris mentioned in his post; I molded my resume and the way I spoke about my previous role in interviews into descriptions and language that the interviewer could understand and tie to success in the new role. It also took perseverance and applying to a lot of positions, and I can guarantee that every single position I applied to had "requirements" above and beyond the experience that I had. Employers expect people to apply even if they don't check the box on every requirement, so definitely do not get discouraged!

Thanks for the advice, Emily! I really appreciate it.

The whole "entry level job but requires 2+ years of experience thing" is a tough one. What I've found that works is to work on your resume and cover letter and find a way to spin your various experience in such a way that it shows you meet the qualifications. So, be sure to keyword stuff your resume with the words that appear in the job description and write compelling and unique cover letters.

Then crush it in the in person interview and you'll get your foot in the door.