Don’t overlook the opportunities that lie within your clubs and societies! Volunteering or having a part-time job are both very likely to help you get a job, but other extra-curricular activities can make you seem more attractive to employers. Check out these tips to get the most out of your work experience!
- Make a good first impression
This is a piece of advice we hear all the time, and there’s a reason why! If you show you are friendly, reliable and competent from the start, it’s more likely that opportunities will be offered to you.
- Be organised
Always listen to any instructions properly and keep track of important information like dates and deadlines. Make a timetable and stick to it.
Introduce yourself to the people you’ll be working with. Approach everyone with a smile and don’t be afraid to ask people about their roles. Finding out how they got to where they are could really help you in the future.
- Ask questions
Be resourceful – before you ask a question, see if you can figure out an answer for yourself, do some research, or simply ask Google. But remember, there’s nothing wrong with asking a question if you’re not sure. Having the confidence to ask will be respected by your colleagues, too.
- Get involved
An obvious one. The more you get stuck in, the more experience you’ll gain! You will be noticed as someone who goes the extra mile, which is always great for references and future positions. It’s greatly appreciated when you offer to help, and it’s a good way to make connections.
- Make suggestions
Ideas and input are always appreciated. Whether it is taken up or not, your contribution will be noticed by employers and demonstrate that you care about the wider impact of your role, and show off your ability to think outside the box. If you think you have a positive, useful comment to add, speak up.
- Make notes
Keep a journal of any tasks you’ve worked on and the skills you’ve picked up. It’s also helpful to write down any problems you encountered and how you overcame them. Having a record of your experience is great for reflecting & future job applications!
- Ask for feedback
This will give you the chance to improve in your role as you go. See if you can get some informal feedback from colleagues and your manager throughout your experience.
This is an important part people forget about when gaining work experience. It enables you to complete your learning and consolidate your development.
Whatever your work experience is, make the most out of it and have fun! You are sure to make some valuable connections, strong friendships and great memories. Good luck!