Work experience is almost every young persons rite of passage in the UK. It’s an opportunity for students to essentially ‘try-before-you-buy’ and add a little experience to their CV in an ever changing competitive employment landscape.
In this article we offer some top tips for people embarking upon work experience. We will explore how to get the most out of time spent gaining knowledge and understanding of different employers.
#1 You never get the chance to make a second first impression…
Do your research, before you attend your work experience find out more about the business you are going to work with. Think dress (business / casual or uniform), culture, hours etc. The greater the impression you make from the get-go, the greater the opportunities that might come your way in the future.
#2 Take the chance to meet everyone you greet…
From the moment you walk through the front door – the person who greets you to the CEO through to the staff in the on-site canteen – get to know them. Everyone in the organisation has knowledge, inside insights to how the business runs. Staff already working within a business are the key to connecting to the culture.
#3 Take note, be attentive…
Any business that offers work experience opportunities to young people shows investment in the future. However, remember that the people supporting you are busy professionals. When you are given instructions on tasks – take notes, follow guidance and be clear on deadlines.
#4 Get stuck in and ask questions…
No matter the tasks assigned to you – run at them with gusto and embrace them. Be enthusiastic and where possible, go the extra mile. Who knows where this opportunity may take you. Don’t forget to ask questions too, at opportune moments of course. Show initiative.
#5 Be bold – ask for feedback on your efforts
Work experience can be daunting, but it is your first opportunity to understand the complexities of the working world. Once you have completed your time with an employer, ask them for feedback. Be bold, tell them that you’re open to all thoughts on how you performed.
Work experience is an opportunity for individuals to try and gain understanding of what they might like to do with their future career. Make the most of it-embrace it. Keep a note of your likes and dislikes, this will help shape future considerations. Our team hosts a number of sessions to help both graduates and school-age young people to explore the world outside the classroom. Take a look at this recent news item about staff in our Cardiff Secondary Team helping young people with their employability skills.
If you feel your organisation might benefit from working with our team – get in touch with the office closest to you – link here.