Work Experience provides an insight into different sectors and careers to improve a young person’s understanding of the world of work.
It helps young people to think about what they might like to do and just as importantly what they wouldn’t.
Work experience gives young people the opportunity to ‘try out’ an area of potential interest and the experience will give them the opportunity to use and apply the skills and knowledge learnt in school in a professional environment.
It will help the development of ‘employability skills’ required in the workplace and beyond.
They will build confidence and self-esteem and their time in work experience can enhance their CV or Personal Statement.
Don’t get stressed and don’t worry about it. This doesn’t need to be a difficult process. This should be a fun and rewarding experience.
Start early and Plan ahead.
Start thinking about what you would like to get from this experience.
Competition for placements can be high. There will be lots of other school students also looking for a great work experience placement, the sooner you start to think about what you want to do, the better. This is your opportunity to try something new and different.
Research is Key.
Where would you like to complete your work experience? Why do you want to do that? Why do they want Where would the YP like to complete their Work Experience?
Talk about it, write down what you like and don’t like, are there any industries you don’t know much about, could work experience help you get a greater understanding? Is there something you are good at, could you use this with your work experience? Could this be rewarding for you?
You can research different careers and even specific jobs and companies simply by using Google or you can start by talking to your School Career Adviser.
Talk to people!
Once you’ve done your research and had a good think about a job you would like to experience you need to find an employer who will give you that experience.
To find this employer you need to talk to people. Ask friends and family, put out requests through your own social media network.
You will need to contact the employer direct. Employers want you to request your placement, they don’t want someone else doing it for you, that is not what life in the working world is like. The application process is a bit like looking for a job and this experience is part of that. You need to be proactive and to communicate.
We know it’s not easy to start off with, it can be quite a scary process, but it is vital and an essential part of the experience.
Many employers want you to approach them directly and to have a conversation. They don’t want a text. You can send an email with a promise to follow up with a phone call. If you do this, you must recognise the importance of following this through.
This really will be your first taste of working life, so the more effort you put into sourcing the right employer then the more you will get out of the experience.