Finding work experience opportunities can be tricky. Spots can fill up quickly, or maybe there’s nothing in your area that matches your dream job.
But getting any kind of work experience is valuable. Even if you want to be an engineer, the skills you learn from working in retail are important – think things like communicating with clients/customers, taking initiative, showing up on time, etc.
So how do you go about finding work experience?
Finding opportunities with a family friend
You might’ve heard the saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know”. Having connections with people is a great way to get your foot in the door. You could have a family friend you can ask about work experience opportunities.
Maybe one of your friend’s parents works in a job you’d be interested in, or your dad’s best mate runs his own business. If you’ve already met someone, it can be easier to approach them and ask for something than a total stranger.
Like we said earlier, even if the industry or job doesn’t quite match up, getting any work experience can be incredibly valuable. So if you know someone who might be willing to give you a go, then ask.
How to ask for work experience
If you have a family friend you’d like to ask for work experience, here’s what we suggest:
- Contact them personally, not through your friend/parent. Your connection might be able to set you up with a meeting or contact information, but ultimately you should ask for work experience yourself – it shows much more initiative and confidence.
- Mention your connection. This can help break the ice and make the conversation more comfortable.
- Explain what you’re looking for. Let them know why you want work experience, when you’re available, and how long you need a placement for.
- Be enthusiastic. Even if it’s not a job you’re super passionate about, show that you’re willing to learn and get experience.
- Thank them for their time and consideration.
If all goes well, you’ll have secured yourself a work experience placement. But even if they can’t offer you an opportunity, they might still be able to suggest other options and provide you with valuable advice.
Looking for more info about work experience? Take a look at our Work Experience Database to find out more.