To Help You Decide on a Career Direction
For starters, one of the key benefits of work experience is it gives you the opportunity to try out different jobs and industries. By doing this, you can find out if a role is what you had imagined and if you seem to enjoy completing those kinds of tasks or not.
If you haven’t got a clue what you want to do once you’ve finished school or university, work experience is perfect. It will give you career direction or at least allow you to tick off things that you know you don’t want to go into once you’ve graduated. It allows you to explore various jobs without committing to anything, and gives you a real sense of what an industry is like.
Obtaining work experience also makes it easier to work out if further education will be required after your current studies are completed and helps you to decide which area to specialize in. For example, if you’ve been studying education, working in the office at a school might direct you to a
Masters in Education Administration degree, while spending time helping to teach five-year-olds could make you see this is where you want to devote your time in the future.
Referrals and References for Your CV
One of the most common reasons people do work experience is getting the chance to impress business owners, department heads and HR teams. Hopefully, once you’ve completed your allocated weeks of work, you will receive glowing references from the people you worked with and can then
add these to your CV.
You could also receive referrals from staff members you’ve dealt with. They could end up referring you for jobs or work experience placements in other companies, where you can further your development, or alert you to upcoming jobs within the firm. All of this is helpful in landing your dream role and developing your career.
Gain New Skills
Another prime reason to tee up some work experience is what you’ll learn during your time with a company, as there are all sorts of skills you can develop.
For example, you’ll gain experience in working with a team and listening to and following directions. You’ll have to hone your communication skills too, so you can get across what you want quickly and effectively, and you’ll learn how to interact with people of all ages and backgrounds.
Other skills you can develop during your time in work experience roles are time management, particularly when you are given multiple tasks to juggle once, and problem-solving abilities, when you have to learn quickly on the job and find ways to complete tasks that might be new to you. Work experience can help you to become more organized, detail oriented, analytical, creative and professional.
Stand Out from Others
Whether you want to obtain a scholarship to university, land your dream job or get access to some other type of career support or opportunity, having work experience on your CV can be a big plus. When people see you’ve been proactive in obtaining experience and received excellent endorsements to boot, they will immediately see you as a contender.
Work experience makes you much more competitive and able to stand out from the crowd. It helps show your passion for and commitment to an industry or job type and demonstrates how you have developed more than your peers.
Make Helpful Contacts
Lastly, even though you might not get paid for your time during work placements, you will get something that can be worth its weight in gold: helpful contacts. Often, landing a great job comes down to who you know as much as what you know.
When you spend time working within a company, you can get to know hiring managers, CEOs, department heads, star employees and so on. These people might decide to hire you straightaway after your work experience has ended or, at the very least, if you have impressed them, they’re sure to become contacts who can help guide you during your career, mentor you and potentially employ you at a later date once your studies are finished and/or you have more experience in the field.
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