work experience

[caption id="attachment_18585" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Benefits of work experience"] [/caption] Work experience is an arrangement where an employer hosts a work experience participant for a period of time to increase the participants’ employability through the development of on-the-job skills, knowledge and experience. There are a number of benefits resulting from work experience placements including: Participant benefits: Work skills Job seekers often find themselves in a ‘catch 22’ situation, they can’t get a job because they don’t have experience, yet they can’t get the experience without a job. Work experience allows the participant to gain all important work skills and experience. Communication and interpersonal skills Along with general work skills, work experience participants have an opportunity to develop their communication and interpersonal skills by interacting with a range of different people on the job including team members, managers and customers. Building a CV One of the greatest advantages of participating in a work experience placement is that the experience gained can...

[caption id="attachment_18641" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Volunteer to help your career"] [/caption] It's Volunteer's Week and I thought now would be the perfect time to discuss the benefits of volunteering and how it can boost your career. There are so many advantages to volunteering but here are the main ones: Gain work experience It’s a fact that employers look more favourably upon candidates with a combination of qualifications and experience than they do on those with qualifications alone. One of the most common questions I'm asked by graduates and career changers is how to gain practical work experience when no one is prepared to give you a go? Short of finding an entry-level role or internship, volunteering is one of the best ways to gain practical work skills and experience. Professional development As a volunteer, it's likely you'll gain access to professional development opportunities since many hosts provide free training for volunteers. This could take the form...

The following blog post currently features at The Careers Blog at Guardian Careers [caption id="attachment_18650" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Is the grass greener on the other side? One of the first steps you can take is identifying what you want from your career. Photograph: Oleg Popov/REUTERS"] [/caption] Many of us will change careers or consider doing so at some point in our lives, so it's important to ensure that the transition is well executed. The key to making a successful transition is self-awareness and planning. When someone comes to me for help with changing careers, one of the first things I do is help them identify their values. Some of the questions I might ask include: What's important to you? What gives meaning to your life? What are your personal goals? What do you want from your career?   The self-awareness and understanding gained from the answers to these questions provides a solid foundation for a career action plan. A school teacher, Anne, came...

[caption id="attachment_18658" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Become an employed graduate"] [/caption] Although the latest economic reports suggest the grip of the recession has been ever-so-lightly loosened, the economy remains slow continuing its impact on the job market. Graduates are finding the job opportunities they expected to be waiting for them after years of study are not as plentiful as they had hoped. A dwindling number of graduate positions and large numbers of emerging students make for a frustrating combination. The lucky ones make industry connections alongside their studies moving into roles straight from university or college. Mature graduates with little or no experience in their new field of qualification often find it difficult to secure an entry level position, with some reporting they have had to take extended periods of unpaid work in an effort to gain relevant work experience. Not an ideal situation if you have a family to support, a mortgage and...