Career adviser Amanda Rose says young Australians should seek work experience on the job to really understand the roles they want and open the door to landing their first role.
Studying a subject and then coming to work to find the real-life application of what you’ve learned is very different, it’s something I hear a lot about.
And that’s why on-the-job work experience and internships are so important.
It requires people to want to spend their vacations and free time volunteering or doing paid internships so they can shadow someone in a job placement capacity and learn.
This will help you get a sense of what’s going on in that organization and whether the job is what you expected it to be.
HOW TO DO IT
If you have an idea of a workplace where you would like to gain experience, go and ask them directly. There is no better way to show your enthusiasm and interest.
Other formal avenues also exist through schools, universities, and mentoring programs with business groups.
CHANGE OF CULTURE
Australia’s culture towards work experience is different from other countries like the US and I think it needs to change.
In the US, it is very common to get an internship during the summer break for three months so that you gain experience on the job. In Australia, it’s not seen as the right thing to do.
I would like to see employers start offering paid internships. While it takes commitment, investment, and effort on your part, you are still training someone, showing them how to do things, and if you enjoy it and do it well, you can stay.
It’s a risk, but it’s not expensive. You spend three months getting to know someone and their skill set and exposing them to your industry.
It’s a smart way to look for talent because companies choose people who have a positive attitude and are ambitious.
BOOST YOUR CV
Whether you’re volunteering, completing work experience for school, or doing a paid internship, you can add the experience to your CV, helping you land a paid job in the future.
You may even be offered an entry-level job right after your work experience, such as an administrative assistant. Many careers have started with a foot in the door like this and it can be a great first step towards the career you want.
Have a question for Amanda Rose? Email smartdaily.com.au
Originally Posted as #BossLady: Experience on the Job Is Worth Its Weight in Gold