Why Work Experience Is Imperative
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Why Work Experience Is Imperative

Common conception is that work experience is purely for CV building and a cheap and easy solution for business owners to complete some very unwanted admin tasks. Many work experiences placements do involve very menial tasks but that doesn’t mean they are worthless or irrelevant to the growth of your worth. The simplicity of just being in an office environment is hugely beneficial for your understanding of the work environment. how the people inside them work and how to get something done when you need it as well as building essential ‘transferable’ skills.

The graduate market in 2016 clearly illustrates the importance employers are now placing on work experience, more so than degrees. And for those who do have degrees, chances are you still won’t be considered if you have no relevant experience inside the work environment. As cruel as that may seem, truth is the competition within the business and employment world is higher than ever, it’s common practise for employers to only desire candidates with sufficient work experience and bags of enthusiasm.

How to gain to right Experience?

Right form year ten in secondary school, young adults have the right the embark on work experience or volunteer positions. Schools within the UK provide at least one week, in some cases two, for students to apply for and take time out in a work environment of their choice. This really is the first stage and first opportunity for students to begin shaping their future. That’s not to say that whatever they choose has to be in line with future career plans because things change and so will they. Perhaps you are a concerned parent and believe your son or daughter must work in a well-established business for it to be worth it or look good on their CV. In actual fact, focusing on smaller businesses often works in their favour more.

Smaller companies are less inundated with applicants- which of course is beneficial when trying to get heard in a very crowded environment. The most important factor of working within a smaller company is that you will get the chance to rub shoulders with owners and managers. Huge corporate companies will have interns in weekly – their large numbers of staff, in most cases, means the smaller more repetitive jobs go straight to the intern. Smaller companies, in my experience, benefit from the extra pair of hands and certainly work the new guy much harder.

The be advice is to be tireless is for the applicant to be tireless in their pursuit to find what is right for them. Get on the phone, personally visit the companies and introduce yourself. Everything these days is done digitally, which is great and I’m certainly pro technology and its incredible abilities. However, in business there is nothing beneficial than meeting somebody face to face and having the chance to give a great first impression.

Post-graduation blues?

Work experience isn’t just for school leavers, in truth, it never ends. And why should it, we may think we know everything but as we all soon learn, that’s not exactly true. Statistics show that graduates are struggling more so than ever to find work post degree. A recent survey by CareerBuilder, an online job search site surveyed employers both in the UK and India. The outcome was the recent graduates within the UK are lacking in problem solving skills, (60% India, 40% UK).

Employers want new employees to be able to contribute from the day they walk into the office, a sentiment that I personally do not agree with. Personally, as somebody who has many years’ experience in the business environment. Contributing includes multiple abilities and factors. To highlight a few; organization is fundamental, ability to manage your own workload, confidence both with internal communication and presentation. Those unique skills you do no necessity gain when sat at a desk, you need something that is going to push you, require you to lead and improve your confidence.

The increasing popularity of working abroad is also noticeable among British graduates eschewing the gap year model. Seasonal placements, such as USA summer camp jobs, offer opportunities to travel whilst building the transferable skills which employers look for. This could be effective in the fight against post-graduation blues, mainly because graduates have a better chance of employment after the fact, whilst also enjoying the benefits of sustained travel.

How to gain the most out the experience?

This really is solely down to the person individually. Everything you do in life should be driven by self-want, you should feel the need and genuinely be interested in what you are doing. Lack of interest will only lead to disappointing results. Know that there are so many variations of ‘work experience’ and volunteer positions that will help aid and push you in the right direction. Providing you have the self-motivation, correct support and drive.


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