So you’ve just completed your work experience. It was in a sector that relates to your degree and in the type of company that you always thought would suit you. Hooray for you, right?
But, what if you didn’t enjoy it? You had it all mapped out but now the future isn’t so clear. The experience did not live up to your expectations and it feels like you made the wrong decision.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Perhaps it’s time to shift your thinking and reframe the whole experience.
Here are a couple of suggestions on how to make the most out of work experience that was not quite right for you:
- There is no ‘career ladder’
Many people take steps that may appear to be ‘down’ or ‘sideways’ during their career.
Use this way of thinking to help you manage how you think about your work experience. Perhaps you wanted to work in an investment bank after graduation but your internship or work experience has changed your mind.
Your next step could be to find work experience in the finance department of a charity, you could view this as a sideways step. Take all the transferable skills you gained from your internship or work experience into your new role.
This is common and part of good career management today.
- There are no mistakes, just opportunities to learn!
You may view your choice of work experience as ‘wrong’ or a bit if a ‘mistake.’ Try to let go of the idea of it being ‘wrong.’ Take your negative experience and turn it into a positive.
Gaining work experience really is an opportunity to learn about yourself.
- Think about what you enjoy and what you do not!
- Find out what you are naturally good at and what you are less good at.
- It’s always a good idea to identify what you enjoyed about the work experience (e.g the people, the location).
- And work out what wasn’t so good (e.g. the hours).
As you gain work experience, try to work out what an ideal job would look like to you. You can also use your experience as a way to discover what sort of jobs you don’t want to do.
Prospects Planner is a good starting point to begin exploring what type of jobs might suit you.
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