How to choose work experience placements!

Work experience placements can be enough to launch your career. Even if you're too young to think much about the world of work, choosing the right placement can set you up with great industry contacts and an impressive CV before you've even left school.

On the other hand, organising a work experience is nothing to stress about. You can learn as much from a horrible placement as you can from a great one! However, because everyone wants to make their week or two enjoyable, it's a good idea to put a little thought and planning into it. Here are a few tips to help...

  • First and foremost, you should pick an industry that you are passionate about. What's the point in gaining experience in a sector that you would be miserable in in the long term? Even if what you're passionate about doesn't seem like a viable career path (e.g. many conservation jobs are voluntary), the experience you gain could be relevant for related job opportunities (e.g. a lecturer in environmental conservation).
  • Secondly, you should apply to more than one company - preferably five to ten. It's an unfortunate fact that many applications for work experience go unacknowledged, and even if they do get back to you they may not have a placement available. It's therefore important to have a good back up plan.
  • Take responsibility. Don't rely on your parents or teachers to line up work experience - organise it yourself. You'll learn more and you'll have more chance of being hired.


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