Why is work experience important?

You might be wondering why work experience is so important today for young people, whether you’re currently at school or have recently left.  Work experience is key to success in today’s job market, making your CV stand out from the crowd and catching the eye of potential employers in the future.

In this article, we’ll tell you why it’s so important.

Evidence your skills

Studying at school, college or university will teach you the academic skills needed to succeed, but there’s a whole world of practical skills you need to learn.

Getting work experience is the best way to show you have the ability to do the job you’re looking for in future. This is particularly important for specific industries and jobs, where having some kind of background in the field is just as important as your grades, for instance, the creative industries. The more experience you have, the more valuable you become as a candidate.

Build your network

Another great benefit of work experience is the chance for you to start building a professional network. When you work for a company, – even if it’s only for a short period of time – you meet a range of different people with different backgrounds and specialisms. These kinds of connections can be incredibly valuable when it comes to finding new job opportunities or getting advice on your career path.

Tip! Ask for colleagues’ contact information before you leave your role there, and thank them for their time. This could be key to getting a reference from them in the future.

Increase your confidence

Getting experience in a working environment can improve your confidence massively, as you’ll be tackling real life challenges. This is the key difference between studying at school. You can see the benefits of your work in real-life situations. 

There can be challenges you won’t have at school or university, but these will build your resilience. All of this will help you to overcome challenges in the future though, and you will improve your problem-solving skills massively. You’ll also meet new people in a professional setting, and will improve your communication skills.

Decide your interests

Doing work experience can help you decide what kind of career you want to embark on in future. You know the saying, ‘You never know until you try’?, we feel like that’s useful here. You never really know if a certain job is for you until you actually try it. 

Now, we’re not saying a week of work experience is going to decide your future. However, it can definitely give you an indication of what might be the right fit for you. For instance, do you think you’d be more suited to an office job, or do you want to work outdoors everyday? Doing work experience can give you an idea of what you want to do when you leave school.

It might be that you want to know if a certain industry or even job is right for you. For example, you might think a career in finance is perfect but when you come to do your work experience it isn’t quite what you thought. This can help to give you a clearer idea of what might be right for you.

 Make your CV stand out

Having some form of work experience on your CV is the best way to make employers interested in what you could offer them. In today’s job market, often the more experience you have, the better chance you have of getting hired.

Employers see lots of CVs for the same role, so you need something that’s going to make yours stand out from the rest. Having some good work experience is one of the key ways you can do this! It shows your commitment to a role – it doesn’t matter if it’s only for a week – it shows that you completed a placement somewhere to a good standard. If you can get a reference from the employer in future, even better!

If you’re still on the fence about if work experience is worth it, don’t be! It’s vital to your success in today’s job market. So go out there and get some experience – you’ll thank yourself in the future!