How To Get Last Minute Work Experience

You might be surrounded by smug friends with grad scheme futures ahead of them, fellow peers with placements you wish you’d applied for and parents on your back about your lack of a job but there are things you can do!
We’ve put together 7 steps that you can take to make sure you get some valuable real-life experience, even in a hurry. 

1. Set some clear objectives

What do you want to do in the long term? What will help you to achieve these goals? What’s the most common route into your chosen industry?
You might not yet know the answers to these questions, but the path to enlightenment starts with RESEARCH! Ban yourself from Facebook; tear yourself away from Pintrest and focus, focus, focus.
It is very important that you know what you want out of a job before you start hunting for experience – this will cut down your search considerably because you’ll be focused on a particular goal (or set of goals) rather than applying a scattergun approach and hoping for the best! This blog sets out some key questions you should ask yourself.

2. Use ALL your contacts

Your last minute work experience will often only last a week, 2 weeks, or a day here and there... As a result, it’s worth exploiting every contact imaginable.

Why? Because you'll find that people are more receptive and willing to help once they know you are only looking for a few days’ work here and there, and not a whole year – which would require considerably more effort on their part!

3. Volunteer

Unpaid work, though demanding at times, adds considerable depth to your CV. 
In any village, town or city there will be plenty of opportunities to volunteer. Think charity shops, homeless shelters, local churches, schools, weekend classes and village shops.
Are you a writer? Your skills could well be required by your local not-for-profit organisation who are always looking for volunteers, or you could start contributing to a local paper, or indeed your own blog - if you haven’t already.
All of this experience serves to create a more rounded picture of you as an individual, it shows employers what you are interested in and it proves that you are pro-active, driven, self-motivated and enjoy working with people. Employers are looking for individuals with transferable skills and adaptable personalities and this is what you will be demonstrating through such work.

4. Seek out events

Attend networking events and workshops in your area. Often these are free and they are an opportunity for you to meet likeminded people and make a few contacts along the way!
It’s also worth contacting your university careers service to see if they know of anything in your area. They have access to resources and contacts that you don’t so don’t be afraid to ask for help!

5. Go small

Rather than concentrating on large corporations why not focus your energies on small companies that are more likely to actually need your help? Small start-up businesses will more often than not be glad of the help, whether that’s making the tea, doing admin or writing content – it’s all good experience!
If you’re unsure about whether or not a small company is for you, check out our blog on the benefits of working with start up companies.

6. Be confident

When it comes to approaching companies - just be confident. Email people, call people and even walk into offices – this will get you noticed and even if they have nothing available at the time at least you have shown your face, met someone who works there and will be more confident doing it again when something does come up!
If you do get the opportunity to pitch your services to someone, make sure you highlight why you think their company is perfect for you, why you have chosen them specifically and why you think you can add value to their organisation. This all sounds a little like a spoken cover letter – which it is really. If you want further advice on this, head here.

7. Make the most of it!

Once you’ve landed yourself some experience make sure you put in 100% effort. You’ll want to make the most out of your limited time so get to know as much as possible about the company, your role and whether or not it’s the job for you! Always smile and be positive and approachable; you wouldn’t want to jeopardise your chances of getting a good reference for future employers!
Now, go forth into the world and make your mark. Your efforts will be rewarded!

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