Work Experience Center
The work experience required for many professions can read more like a fanciful or greedy "wish-list" than a professional summary of realistic job requirements. Jobs typically require highly specific skills, industry background, technical knowledge and-of course- the all-important, make-or-break "experience".
But how do you gain employment experience if you have little or none and are therefore not hired? This is the classic "Catch-22" dilemma of entry-level and grade-jumping job seekers.
Educational programs, unless highly specialized, no longer tend to be enough without practical experience. An employment guide will typically list internships, volunteering, working abroad, apprenticeships, free-lancing, entrepreneurship and co-op or work-study programs as ways to gain professional skills for the workforce-as "best-case" alternatives to direct employment experience.
When experience has proven to be tough to accumulate, investigating options like these is a worthwhile allocation of job-search energies and efforts.
Work experience is an essential selling point to include on all resumes and job applications-if you have it. Without this, many younger people might leave blanks in their job applications, but they should not. It is important that, as a young person, or someone applying for a new career field or a big jump in pay grade and responsibilities, you include anything and everything that could be considered experience-sometimes throwing in even repair of kitchen sinks, if not a sink itself.
Work experience can be both paid and unpaid, e.g., volunteer and internship slots. If working abroad, apprenticeships, free-lancing, entrepreneurship, co-op or work-study programs are not available or attractive options, an internship can be an excellent alternative-and maybe even the best.
As quasi-volunteer positions, internships are usually structured programs, often through a school or university, and generally occur toward the end of an individual's course of study. Many, if not most opportunities like this are unpaid, although sometimes result in academic credit or serve as part of a practicum section of a course or process of accreditation or licensing. (However, do not automatically assume that "internship"= "unpaid". Shop around for the intern opportunities that also pay a salary. They are out there.)
The purpose of such experiences is generally twofold: first, to introduce the young student or professional to real world applications of their field of study; and second, to help both the student and the prospective employer get a sense of the student's general ability level, work ethic and overall organizational fit.
Some fields require such internship experiences, whereas others only recommend them. Sometimes companies even have the resources to sponsor the student for the last year or two of school, provided they agree to work for a time for the company upon graduation.
Even for those students who don't have a job waiting for them when they graduate, the internship experience can be a critical introduction to the chosen field or discipline and often an invaluable source of practical experience, professional networking, and mentoring opportunities.
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If you can't get a job, get an internship. If you can get an internship, maybe you can get a job [with the same organization] later. Maybe you can get an internship that is also a job-i.e., pays a salary or wage for its duration. That pretty much sums up the most common internship scenarios-work that involves on-the-job temporary mentoring and responsibility as an organization intern, with or without pay...
Apprenticeships - Gaining Work Experience
"Apprentice" is likely to conjure up one of two images: going toe-to-toe with Donald Trump on "The Apprentice" or pounding horseshoes as an 18th-century master blacksmith's assistant. Despite being centuries apart in style, substance and setting, what these two forms of apprenticeship have in common is on-the-job tutelage under the wing of an expert with a very wide occupational wingspan, indeed.
The dramatic decline in traditional lifetime or long-term employment in the manufacturing and white-collar sectors has forced the modern worker to adapt and consider working as a freelancer. Find out about the career of a freelancer and open freelance positions through Recruiter.
Working abroad can be an adventure, a necessity, a smart move or a huge mistake-depending on the opportunities explored and how they are played.
Work at Home
Working at home, also described as "teleworking" or "telecommuting" when substantially based on telecommunications with an employer or clients, is, for many, an attractive alternative to conventional employment at an outside location. Find out about working from home and search on open jobs.
Volunteer - Career Resources
In connection with career advancement during a period of unemployment or pre-employment, it is wise to consider a form of volunteering closely related to and supportive of personal career goals. Find information about volunteering for career advancement
Community Service - Building Experience
Experience as a volunteer, especially if in a related field, can significantly increase your odds of being hired. Learn about community service as it relates to building experience for your career.
Why examine something as generic as government in connection with employment? The reason is that government pervades the world of work perhaps more than any other third party to the relationship among employer, employee and client/customer...
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Career Research Tool
Use our career research tool to find more than just a list of careers - find the right long term career for you. Explore salary trends for each type of profession, read sample job descriptions, and find the professional and educational requirements for specific careers.Use it Now