Many students make a big mistake when they regard work experience as just about having things to add to your CV. Some of the most important things about work experience include meaningful insights, the development of skills and the networking capabilities that will help you with your career development. Work experience helps you to make final decisions about what you would like to do for the rest of your life, but also from a commercial perspective it allows you to understand how organisations operate.
This blog post is about encouraging you to be more open minded about work experience and exposing you to how work experience in alternative sectors could actually be very useful.
How can work experience in different industry’s help?
– It can give you an insight into how potential clients and competitors operate. For example if you would like to pursue a career in media law, it could be a good idea to get some work experience with a media company to fully understand how they operate and what their needs are. Or if you would like to get into Information Technology, some retail experience may give you an insight into developing systems with regards to customer needs.
– It can help you to stand out from the crowd by presenting you as someone who is flexible and who can adapt to any given situation. Work place flexibility is more and more becoming a quality that employers look for. Employers want to know that you can respond positively to change and take on new challenges, sometimes at short notice.
– It is a great way of gaining exposure to different working environments and providing you with valuable experiences which you could utilise in your future career.
– There are some skills that are fundamental in almost every career. For example, team work, communication skills, time management and confidence. As a result, getting work experience in sectors that you perhaps never thought about before, could be a good idea as you will still be given the opportunity to build on and develop these skills.
This kind of experience is important because it promotes a culture of different organisations learning from each other, sharing good ideas, practices and experiences. Even if you believe you have already identified the career path that you wish to take, do not be dismissive of trying out other things – it will give you knowledge and insight into alternative career areas as well as help you to either reaffirm or abandon your previous plans.