How can I get relevant work experience?

Posted on Posted in Ask Alison

When you’re looking for work you need to show potential employers that you have the skills and experience that they’re looking for in their ideal candidate.

But what if you’ve never had a job before or you’re returning to the workforce after some time out? It’s a catch 22 situation – you need experience to get a job but you need a job to get experience.

In situations like these, volunteering could be the answer. As well as giving you the chance to try out different types of work in order to find something that suits you, it can make you stand out from the crowd in other ways:

  • You can learn a new skill (or develop an existing one). The skills you gain in a volunteer capacity can all be transferred to the paid job market thereby increasing the options open to you
  • It will give you a sense of achievement. If you don’t have a job you may not have the motivation to get out of bed in the morning but, knowing that you’ve made the decision to volunteer might be just the call to action you need
  • You might meet a potential employer. Volunteering attracts a diverse range of people so, whether you’ve opted to befriend an elderly neighbour, work in a homeless shelter or help out in a charity shop, you never know who you’ll meet. Think of it as the ultimate networking opportunity

There is also the added benefit that you’re giving back to society, something which employers are increasingly aware of. Many organisations now have Corporate Social Responsibility policies whereby staff are given the opportunity to participate in volunteer work programmes.

It’s Volunteers’ Week from 1st to 7th June in the UK so why not take a look at their website for details of the hundreds of events taking place near you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *