Working for Experience!
Meet Chloe, Chloe is 18 years old on work experience at Corr Recruitment. Chloe was studying a business diploma at college but had realised she had no experience working in an office environment.
Ashlea Thompson, Regional Manager (https://www.corr-recruitment.co.uk/about-us/meet-the-team/) has been working closely with Chloe over the past 2 weeks to give her a good understanding of the workplace environment.
Ashlea said: “Self-Reliance in my opinion is the biggest experience you encounter in the workplace. To an extent, college and university already develops self-reliance, unlike schools. You are encouraged to find your own answers and develop your own pathway.
Applying skills in an academic environment is completely different from doing it in the workplace. Students develop a greater sense of self-awareness when there is more riding on their actions and ability to do the job than achieving a grade. Work experience is about being trusted and demonstrating you can take on tasks independently. It helps them identify their strengths and weaknesses.
You might not realise it at the time, but as a student, you are still immature. As AMAZING as higher education is you are still somewhat restricted to the kind of people you associate with. It is entirely possible that your exposure to the ‘real world’ may still be minimal.
Working in a team where your colleagues vary drastically in terms of age, experience and knowledge can significantly alter your perceptions and allow you to see things differently; this enhanced maturity will not only stand you in good stead for future jobs but also benefit studies. By having a more balanced viewpoint and starting to see the world outside your own “educational bubble”, personal development will improve.
The development of interpersonal skills is fundamentally important and can only be effectively acquired in a workplace environment. Communicating with clarity and discretion is essential for any successful employee. It doesn’t just mean being able to speak and listen. Knowing when to take the lead and when to take a step back; these are lessons that can only be learned and observed in a real-life work scenario.
No employer wants a worker who constantly hits brick walls in the course of their daily work; rather, they want somebody who can use their initiative and seeking out their own solutions. Luckily, being proactive and competent is a lot easier when you have some experience to back up your intuition, meaning that from day one you will not be constantly leaning on the shoulders of your more experienced colleagues.
Team work is the foundation of every successful business/family and friendship, everyone needs to get on with others. Students need to learn working within a group and recognise that the strengths and weaknesses of individuals are only effective when combined into something greater than “I, Myself and Me”.
Every job role is different, and you will encounter different IT systems, processes and tools depending on your chosen profession. But for example, basic IT skills are expected, at Corr Recruitment we teach the basics, for every platform we operate with. You will also get exposure to answering the phone, filing, scanning, meeting and greeting.
One of the biggest obstacles I seem to encounter is the Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem of the younger generation. My aim at Corr Recruitment (https://www.corr-recruitment.co.uk/about-us/) is to make our work experience students more confident and well-rounded, an essential element of both personal and professional skills. Being taught skills like organisation, time keeping, thinking ahead, planning your day, time managing tasks and prioritising your work is learning how to deal with the demands of different managers and requests from colleagues. Juggling, multi-tasking and delivering on time and to a high standard, work experience teaches it all. Something that you enjoy every day – and being good at it – will bring out the best of you.
Now Over to You!
And finally, just because you are not classed as an actual employee, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make an impression on others. This means having to learn how to create and develop professional relationships with colleagues, managers and even clients. One of life’s vitally important skills that you will use for the entire duration of your career and personal life
It can also lead to a multitude of opportunities. If you impress with your attitude and your ability, then there might just be a permanent job waiting when you graduate.
These are important lessons; you never know how important these connections will be; hands-on experience will help you learn to cultivate them.
First impressions could truly set you apart from your peers…………and be long lasting!