Work Experience Fails:
They may sound simple, but you’ll be surprised how many people stumble on the simplest things when it comes to their first day of work experience. We’ve listed five things to double check to guarantee your day runs as smoothly as possible.
Work experience can be a daunting prospect. Your understanding of the workplace and its conventions is in its absolute infancy – you’re aware of the need to impress but unsure of how exactly to do it, terrified of putting a foot wrong. Here are our top five things to avoid when going about your first work experience placement.
1. Forgetting to change your email address. It may sound obvious but it happens more than you’d think. Make sure your email is clear, concise and professional, your name, or as close as you can get to it. That swanky property company are not going to be impressed with a tentative email from firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Not knowing where you’re going. Make sure you know where your work placement is and how long it’ll take you to get there. The last person you want to be is that panicking, sweaty mess who gets the wrong exit of the underground station and didn’t realise that the main entrance is at the other end of corpus B.
3. Getting the dress code wrong. They told you it was a building site – why did you wear your stilettos?
4. Being afraid to speak up. It’s a cruel reality of work experience that nobody actually needs you to be there. So if you just sit there without putting yourself forward to help then the chances are you may well stay sat there all day. Even if it’s just a cup of tea, ask if you can be useful.
5. Not knowing the basics of the company. “Underwriters, those guys who carry the coffin…right?” Make sure you do your research: look them up on Google, see if they’re in the news, find out what they’ve been up to lately. It shows you care, shows you respect their time and, more importantly, means you won’t get caught out.