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Work Experience

Work Experience
Work experience is not only a great stepping stone to a paid job, but is also a fantastic way to find out if reality matches your expectations.

Sections within this page:

What is work experience?
What can you get out of it?
How to get work experience

What is work experience?

Work experience is generally unpaid work for a week or two.

You do it to, see if you like a particular job and get some skills and experience to make you more appealing to potential employers.

Year 10, year 12, after school, and whilst studying at TAFE or university are common times to do work experience. But if you're keen to get into a job, it's also a great way to get your foot in the door.

What can you get out of it?

Gain experience in applying for jobs

Before starting you will probably need to convince your potential employer you are committed and going to be of value to them, maybe with a resume or through direct conversation. Some employers are very busy and only have time for a person who they can see might be a long term prospect.

Get a foot in the door with an employer you want to work
At the very least, if you are committed and do a good job, you'll get a great reference to include in your resume. They might even refer you on to someone else they know in the industry who has a paid position available.

Get on-the-job experience and skills
Doing unpaid work experience shows that you are enthusiastic and committed; both are qualities that are very highly regarded by employers.

Get an insight into what it's like to work and what's expected of you in the workplace generally. Find out if you really like a job before committing to it.

How to get work experience

There are a number of ways to go about organising work experience, but the most important thing to remember is to just go for it. Organise it early, as there may be others trying to do work experience with the same organisation.

Try some of the following options:

  • Ask your family and friends.
    They may know someone who might be able to help you, or someone working in the same industry you want to try out.
  • Use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with employers offering work experience
  • Talk with your career counsellor, teachers or lecturers if you're at school, uni or TAFE.
  • Volunteer with a community or charity organisation.
  • Interested in the environment?
    Think about joining Green Corps. It provides young people with the opportunity to volunteer to preserve and restore Australia's natural environment and cultural heritage.
  • Directly contact employers.
    Some companies, especially the larger ones, will even offer formal internships that you can apply for.
  • Search for work experience opportunities.

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