Succeed in the workplace
Succeed in the workplace

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Succeed in the workplace

4.1 Making the most of your work experience

Described image
Figure 8 Making the most of opportunities

Once you have found some work experience, how can you ensure that you make the most of it? After all, it is a big commitment on both sides and you want to be sure that you can reap the benefits. The following points can act as a kind of checklist for you.

  • Have clear aims – set goals you can reasonably achieve in that period.
  • Understand your needs – they should fit with the organisation that is offering you work experience.
  • Find support – ask for a named person who is responsible for helping to make your work experience successful.
  • Get feedback – ask whether you have shown aptitude for the work or demonstrated learning of the skills needed.
  • Build your contacts – look for opportunities to make contacts, remembering chats during coffee or lunch breaks can be perfect for this.
  • Review what you have done – what did I learn about the work, the employer or myself from this experience?

This last point is probably the one that gets overlooked, especially if you are particularly busy, but it is perhaps the most important to spend some time on. Asking this simple question and making notes can help you when writing job applications, in interviews and with the important task of deciding on your career path.

Hopefully, you now feel you understand the potential value work experience can offer you personally. You may have concluded that it is just what you need and it will form part of your action plan at the end of the course. You may, on the other hand, still be actively searching for alternatives. Voluntary work is one such alternative and is covered in the next part of this week’s study.

SWP_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus