Many of us have come up against the problem of not having enough experience for a particular role. It’s a problem that often occurs just after leaving school, college or university when we’re just starting out in our careers, when our qualifications might look very impressive on paper but we’re actually prepared for very little in the big world of work.
Of course, taking an internship, shadowing senior staff or going in to make the tea are all considered perfectly acceptable ways to gain access to a career if you’re under 25, but what about after then?
What if you are thinking about returning to work after a career break – for whatever reason –and are concerned you’ve got a gap in your experience? Are you thinking about changing your direction for a new challenge and to experience a new industry but don’t know where to start?
It’s about time our attitude to work experience, internships and placements changed – particularly as the notion of one job, or even one career, for life is becoming very dated.
Yes, you might feel a little bit silly to begin with, working in junior roles below those much younger than you, but what’s the alternative? That you don’t push yourself, that you don’t follow your dream, that you stay in the rut?
It’s really nothing to feel silly about either, most people will have the utmost respect for anyone who has chosen to pursue their passion – and if you know why you’re doing it, and are proud of yourself, then surely that’s the only opinion that should matter to you anyway?
Work experience is a great way of getting a foot in the door, filling gaps in your CV, and getting a taste of what it’s like within a particular industry before you undertake the training you might need to be paid to work there.
Volunteering for charity work – whether directly related to the career you’re interested in or not – can also be a great way of helping your CV stand out in a highly competitive market. A recent survey by volunteering website Vinspired found that 72% of employers agreed that volunteering placements can have a positive effect on an individual’s career progression and nearly half said that candidates with volunteering experience are more motivated than other candidates.
Undertaking work experience, internships or volunteering – however you choose to term it – can show that you’re dedicated to working in a particularly industry. Combine that with top notch training and a polished CV and that dream job of yours might not be as hard to reach as you might have thought.