How work experience can help you find a job
Having a job whilst studying at University is a great way to gain work experience and develop your employability skills. Part-time jobs typically include retail, hospitality and clerical work. Work experience is a great opportunity to learn about a job or an area of work. You’ll use skills that you might not even know you have, and develop new expertise that will help you work better with other people now and in future.
Work experience is exactly that, experience. CEOs and managers don’t walk into their job overnight – they work towards it; gain skills from different roles, sectors and teams they work in. Any experience you can get shows your employability and how well you adapt to different situations.
According to UCAS, “A recent survey showed two thirds of employers look for graduates with relevant work experience because it helps them prepare for work and develop general business awareness. Importantly, one third of employers felt that applicants did not have a satisfactory level of knowledge about their chosen career or job.”
Relevant work experience
Of course, we understand that the idea of ‘relevant’ work experience is a bit of a ‘chicken and egg’ situation. Often, it’s difficult to get relevant experience… because you don’t have experience. But there are ways around it:
Look into getting a part-time role like we mentioned earlier; something in a bar, café or shop can help build your confidence and skills. Not to mention, it adds a bit of extra money for student life!
Do your research!
Research companies or organisations that you’d be interested in working with, ask if it would be possible to gain some work experience there. Even if it’s a few hours of shadowing, it’ll give you a good insight into the business and the industry.
If you’re not sure about what career you want to do, work experience is a great way to find out about different industries. You’ll learn about the world of work; office etiquette, teamwork, the do’s and don’ts, and how to navigate workplace politics. You’ll learn new skills and broaden your network; you’ll meet colleagues that will have networks, too. All of this is vital for the world of work.
Look at your University website, often they will feature graduates from their courses and what roles they went into – that’s a great place to start. Many people don’t complete a degree that leads directly into a specific job – many learn transferable skills for different industries and sectors. Have a think about that, and what your degree could lead you into.
Maybe it could be something you haven’t thought of before, perhaps sales roles are really the right thing for you, maybe clerical work, maybe engineering or digital work.
What’s key to remember is that your degree is the first step into the world of work. You’ve completed it and know what you can achieve if you put your mind to it. Your first week and month at university is likely to have been daunting, and most people wonder if they’ll ever graduate – well, you did! You’ve shown that you can persevere and complete a degree.
Making the move into employment
We have a number of jobs for graduates who are looking to move into employment. If you’re interested in any, we will talk you through the role, your options and your aspirations for the future. We work hard to ensure that we place you in a position that we know you can fulfil to the best of your ability. Remember, employers are our clients too – so we want to make sure everybody is happy.
It can be daunting, but we’re with you every step of the way and we want to see our graduates move into careers they can be proud of and mould them into the person they want to be.