We've written about it enough times - so we think it's pretty apparent what big advocates we are for work experience. In fact, we are constantly encouraging young people to find work experience that is right for them, and that can help them discover their future career faster.
And we don’t think it’s difficult to see why: the range of benefits are HUGE, and every employer we engage with tells us how vital they think it is for young people. Even the legend Albert Einstein has famously said the following:
The only source of knowledge is experience.
However, just in case you need a little more convincing, we’ve put together this short guide to help you find the right work experience opportunity.
First Things First: What is Work Experience?
Work experience is any experience you obtain while working in a specific role, industry or organisation and is a great way to gain a better understanding of specific career paths.
They’re usually really short-term or temporary ways to get involved and can include:
- A one or two-week block placement with an employer.
- Job-shadowing professionals in the work-place.
- Industry visits.
- Summer or vacation programmes.
- Digital or remote placements.
Top Tip: Find out exactly what work experience could involve with our Work Experience Guide
Five Biggest Benefits of Work Experience
For us, the benefits are limitless, but if we had to narrow it down to the biggest five we’d say it’s these:
- Get a hands-on taste of the industry (or industries) you’re most interested in.
- Learn about new roles or pathways you might not know about yet.
- Find out how your studies connect to real-life work issues and job roles.
- Develop employability skills and better understand the practical skills you’ll need to be a success.
- Improve your future employment prospects simply by having experience!
Three Ways to Find Work Experience
There are many different ways to find out about different work experience opportunities - so it can seem a bit daunting picking where to start!
Here are our three favourite (tried and tested) ways:
Your Personal Network
One of the best resources you have for finding potential placements is your current network. Who’s your network? Well: parents, friends, friends of friends, grandparents, older siblings, teachers … just to start! Let everyone you know that you’re looking for something, and we bet they’ll be happy to help.
The Careers Team at School
Your Careers Team at school can be a valuable resource for finding work experience. Schedule an appointment to see what support they can offer. They might even have a list of employers who have work experience opportunities available. Even if they don’t, they’ll be able to give you some additional guidance on reaching out to suitable employers.
We don’t mean to brag (okay, maybe just a little) but have a pretty great network of top employers who offer work experience opportunities. And they're available for you to apply for right here on Springpod. Becoming a Springpod member is easy - and free. Find out more here.
Will Work Experience Really Help with Future Job Opportunities?
Being able to show an employer that you’ve got experience sets you apart from anyone that hasn’t. Having some experience demonstrates you’re trustworthy, reliable, and understand the demands of being part of a team in the workforce.
Ready to find out more?