Having a chance to gain some valuable work experience, is an opportunity that many candidates cannot afford to turn down. In an age where the competitiveness for jobs is at an all-time high, gaining skills and experience that could potentially help you stand out from others is a must.
Going to University and gaining a degree once upon a time seemed like enough to land a job, but with millions of people having degrees, what else do you need to stand out from other candidates? Employers will be impressed with your background in education, but your work experience is what they’re after.
We’ll look at a few of the points to why work experience is beneficial for you, whatever level.
Developing skills that you’ll later require in your field of work is vital. Some skills you may already have and you’re looking to develop them; whereas other skills will be what you’re being introduced to. There are various personable and technical skills which you’ll require, however that will be based on the type of job in which you are doing. These skills could include communication and leadership. Being able to use a certain software is something you can learn and eventually be comfortable with, given the right training.
Work experience is just that…experience. However, you shouldn’t look at it as a fixed-term contract which you’re just happy to be there. It’s important to demonstrate the correct attitude during your time there. Express the willingness to learn and try new things out. This is your chance to impress your employer, and you never know it could lead to a full-time position, should you impress them.
Working in a new workplace will automatically lead to meeting new people. Some of these may be your co-workers, and others may be other workers from various departments. Networking is great because it gives you the chance to meet new people, and they can share experiences with you. Social Networks such as LinkedIn can be great to extend your network and endorse skills. Perhaps having a mentor as a support figure along the way will be beneficial for your development.
During your academic year, you may be required to undertake a one year or temporary work placement. The placement is likely to be linked to your course where you could learn something fundamental to help you go back and finish your studies. As we mentioned before, it’s important to not just go through the motions when you’re there, but also learn whilst in your role.
Some candidates may not be fortunate enough to experience the work environment until after they have finished their academic studies or later than they would have liked. By having work experience, it already gives you an advantage because you have already experienced what it’s like to be in the workplace and have the skills which are required to succeed.
No matter what level you are in your chosen industry, you’re not going to have all the answers. With the constant innovation and technologies, we’re all having to keep up. Voluntary work could be key as it could demonstrate your passion and willingness to learn your role, outside of working hours.
It’s a competitive market, we hope we’ve given you an advantage!