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Wednesday, 11 October 2017 17:44

Work experience - should we do it or is it a 'mickey take'?

For youngsters, as every year passes, it is getting harder to get a job and pay their own way. Fact. The problem is that for every one job that becomes available, almost forty people apply for the post.

Because of this difficulty, many employers tell candidates to try and bolster their CV by doing unpaid work or work experience to give them a head-start over others – but many people question whether or not this is just free labour and whether it makes any difference whatsoever to a successful job application.

We personally believe (even though it is not ideal to not get paid for the work that you do) that it would be beneficial if work experience was undertaken as this is the only way that you can highlight that you are keen for the job role – it also demonstrates that you have some drive and initiative to get things done and better yourself wherever possible. These are two basic key skills that all employers will look for.

In fact, nowadays, employers will ask in interview if a candidate would consider work experience as they want to gauge just how keen they are to undertake the role that they are applying for.

It is also beneficial to be in the workplace meeting people, liaising with people who do that role day in day out and building up decent contacts.

Of course, the biggest lure is that working hard on work experience and getting noticed for skills and having the drive to succeed, could lead to a full-time job offer at the end of the stint. This would be the ultimate scenario for many would-be employees as they will have got used to the work environment and will already have some kind of idea as to the role, responsibilities and the people that they are surrounded by day in day out. It gives people a head-start on the person who was successful at interview in a lot of ways. This is because the person who got the job initially will not be familiar with the team, the surroundings, the particulars of the job role etc.   

Work experience will also no doubt bolster a person’s independence and confidence which is only good for the candidate themselves and the employer.

As you can see there are many benefits to doing work experience, but we can appreciate that many people, especially students who have come out of university with a top-class degree, do not want to work for free and see it as a bit of a ‘mickey take’. They will have worked so hard, probably for three years or more and will not want to give their skills and time up for nothing. Unfortunately, however, it appears to be the way of the world and there doesn’t seem to be much anyone can do about it. 

There are hoops that have to be jumped through, but hopefully, once a person has proven themselves worthy, it will all be worth it in the end.