The magical words that always seem to crop up: work experience. Whether you've spent a day making notes and cups of tea in an office, or worked in a corner shop for six weeks over summer, or participated in a virtual programme any experience is good experience when it comes to applying for a job. It's important to make the very most of any opportunity you get to help prepare you for the working world so here are a few ways that I did just that with by ‘spending a day’ at a digital transformation agency through the LifeSkills Virtual Work Experience tool.
Any new environment can be scary and this can sometimes be made worse by 'jargon' being thrown around. Don’t panic - as a new employee, you aren't expected to be a walking dictionary of technical terms, but a basic understanding is really good to have. This is definitely something that virtual work experience helped me with. In my experience, companies are really impressed by new employees who use their initiative to gain some background knowledge on how a company works before they start. I did this and it allowed me to make progress quickly and focus my training more on new words I needed to understand, because I had already picked up a lot of terminology from the experience. Alongside the tool, check out this jargon busting page, which shows you some of the words employers love to use!
First Impressions Count
Throughout your 'day' you'll be given tips and guidance on how to get the most from the experience, with everything from your physical appearance on the day to your online appearance over social media. I've found that both of these things are important, both when applying for jobs, and starting work at a new organisation. You want your employer to think of you in a positive way – you’re probably hoping to have a long and successful career in that industry. Before applying for a job, I made sure I had a proper email address and picked out an appropriate outfit before the interview. This might not sound like the most important thing to do the night before an interview but believe me, you don't want to miss out on a great opportunity because you decided your old ripped jeans will ‘do’. Your online presence is important too, as this is often what employers see first – they mention this in the tool. Check out this content, too, about cleaning up your social media so you definitely make a good impression.
Questions: Friend or Foe?
Without a doubt, asking people in your new company lots of questions is a great way to learn more and overcome any uncertainties that you might have. However, deciding what a good question is can often be quite tricky, especially in a place that is new and there's a lot to learn. The Virtual Work Experience is great for this, giving you options for questions you can ask (and could be asked), allowing you to decide whether it's useful or not. I loved this as it made me more aware of how to better use my employer’s time and get the most relevant information easily.
Without a doubt, LifeSkills Virtual Work Experience is a great way to prepare yourself for a new job and allow you to make that brilliant first impression that you know you are capable of.
Why not also explore how core transferable skills are used in a variety of roles and industries through our independent activity? You may just come across your dream role.