City : Work Experience World : Getting the Most from Work Experience
Making the most of it...
There's no point getting work experience and not getting the best experience out of it!
Below we've listed some top tips for how to make the most of your work experience so you gain the most you can...
It's so so so important that you arrive on time, as it shows you're serious about getting the most out of the experience and you wont miss out on anything!
Plan your route the day before and leave yourself plenty of time to get there - remember that if you arrive super early you can always grab a coffee while you wait.
Once you are there don’t try and run out of the door the minute it hits the end of your work day. Not watching the clock will show that you are willing to work hard and put in the hours.
Having a positive and enthusiastic attitude will show that you're willing to work and learn!
Even if you are given a very basic task, or something you find tricky, try and be enthusiastic about it.
Never feel bad about asking for some help but stay positive about it - your boss will want to know that you will do your job with a positive attitude, even if it’s not fun or exciting!
Remember this is a learning opportunity and the way you’re going to make the most of it is to ask lots of questions!
Your manager or supervisor is there to help you boost your knowledge, so should be happy to take any questions, no matter how small. Take every opportunity to learn about the company and industry.
However, remember there is a time and place to ask questions - if your manager or supervisor is in a meeting or talking to a client, wait till they've finished to ask them your question.
Make sure to always listen to the instructions that you're given and pay attention to what's going on around you.
Your placement might feel long and may be busy but try your best to stay focused - especially when your manager is asking you to undertake certain tasks. Paying attention will help you complete your tasks well!
Being aware of what's going on will also be really helpful when you’ve finished the placement and are updating your CV or going for an interview. You're more likely to remember what you got up to and what skills you learnt.
Always remember to be polite to everyone you meet - say please and thank you, and don't yawn when someone is talking to you or during meetings!
Switch off your mobile phone and focus entirely on the job while you’re on the placement. If you're phone keeps going off or you keep checking it, your manager will see you're not invested in learning as much as you can!
Be polite to everyone, not just the boss, and remember to thank anyone who has given up their time to help you.
What you have to wear will depend on the company that you are working with, you may have to wear a uniform or specific clothing, so make sure to ask a week before you arrive.
If they are going to provide you with a uniform on your first day, make sure you arrive on time to get changed before the workday starts.
If there is no specific clothing to wear then make sure you dress smartly in clean and neat clothes. Have a look at what other employees are wearing on your placement and follow their example - if they're in suits, it's best to wear a suit yourself.
Keep a Diary
It's a really good idea to keep a record of everything you've done on the placement to help you remember everything you experienced. It will be incredibly helpful when you start writing a CV or going to interviews!
Here are some things that you should think about when you are making a note of your experiences...
Are you enjoying the placement? Why / why not?
What skills are you learning?
What are you are good at / not so good at?
What's the most interesting thing that you experienced on this placement?
What are you learning about the industry, and what do you now understand about the company?
Have you had to deal with clients / customers, and how have you dealt with any difficult customers?
Have you come against any problems that you had to solve, and how did you solve them?
If you were to do work experience again what would you do the same / differently?
What if I get ill?
Make sure you get the contact details for someone at your placement so that if you get ill you can call them and let them know.
In general, unless you are infectious, being sick, or really too unwell to go to work then you should try and go in.
This is your opportunity to learn and make a good impression, and you can't do that if you're not there.