You may think that the only reason to do work experience is to be able to write about it on your CV – but there are loads of other reasons why you should be doing it! Sure, you might just be helping with admin, fetching coffees for the team or shadowing other people, but even this is important for your future.

Here are our top five reasons why you should embrace opportunities to take on work experience…

1. Prepare yourself for the working world

Taking on a work placement isn’t just about learning to make that perfect brew – it’s an opportunity for you to learn about the real life working environment. Employers are always looking for people who can demonstrate they’ve spent time in the workplace (although we all know obtaining that experience can be tough for young people!). Your work placement, whether it’s arranged through school or something you’ve organised yourself, will get you that ever-sought-after experience that could be the difference between scoring an interview and… not. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to pick up valuable skills, applying your knowledge to real life situations.

2. You could find your dream job

Work experience can seem scary to start with – being so far out of your comfort zone is bound to make you nervous. But this is a real opportunity for you and you should see it that way. If, like most people, you feel clueless about what career you want when you’re older, work experience is a great way to sample all the options out there – well, maybe not all the options, but you get the idea! It’s the perfect way to test out jobs without the long-term commitment of it being a full-time, permanent career. You can test the waters before jumping straight into the deep end.

3. Demonstrate your career commitment

When recruiting young people, 29% of employers say experience is critical – and a further 45% say it significantly affects the decision of who they hire. That’s almost half of all employers! If you work hard during your placement, showing real interest in the department or business you’re working within, it could majorly benefit you in the future. It’s a big thing to be able to show you’ve made an effort to obtain experience, you’ve done your homework on a certain career and you’ve shown real passion to boot. In any future job applications, you’ll be able to reference this – employers love to see people who are truly motivated! And, what’s more, if you wow your work experience employer enough, they’ll probably be happy to invite you back in the future!

4. Develop yourself!

Work experience is about more than what it allows you to offer employers – your own personal development is important too! All the skills you learn and the resilience you build up during your placement will help you on your professional development pathway. You could become more confident, more comfortable dealing with people from a diverse range of backgrounds and you’ll get used to the grind of the 9-5 too! This is all important and will become the building blocks for surviving your working career.

5. Bulk up that CV

We’ve mentioned it before – but we all know having work experience is a valuable added extra next to your collection of achievements and experiences on your CV. While it’s one of many benefits, it’s a vital one. A full and healthy CV will really help you when it comes to applying for positions after leaving education. Qualifications are great, but employers are always keen to see proven working world experience – and your CV will show them just that! Experience (or lack of it) can be a deciding factor when you are interviewed.

See all our latest and greatest vacancies right here – including apprenticeships and entry level positions!

Guest blogger Ollie Ham is a Blue Octopus work experience student from Ilkley Grammar School. He’s spent his week getting to grips with recruitment, marketing and design – and is now a proud contributor to the Blue Octopus blog!

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