Whether you’re a student or graduate it’s quite likely that the importance of getting work experience will have been drilled into your brain on a number of occasions. It’s a great way of getting that practical experience in your chosen industry and will help you decide whether it’s the industry for you. We’ve already spoken about how to get some work experience (have a look here) which is obviously a really important part – but once you’ve got the experience – you want to try and make the most of it.
There are a few reasons for this – if you don’t make the most of it then you’re less likely to get a true perception of what the industry is like. You also want to try and get the best possible feedback – you’ll only get this if you try really hard. Finally, you want to put as much experience on your CV as possible – so you want to squeeze every last drop out of your experience.
To help you do this, we’ve come up with a few ways you can make the most of your digital work experience.
It’s very easy when you first start your work experience to be a little shy and only do what you’re told. While it’s really important to do what you’re asked – it’s also good for the company to see you’ve got a bit of fire in your belly.
So once you’ve done what you need to do – ask for another challenge – the employer will recognise your adventurous nature and your desire to learn and you’ll benefit by getting more experience. Remember, the whole point of this is to learn as much as you can – so make sure you put your all into it.
Not only will this mean that you’ll finish your experience with lots of new skills – you may even get asked back if you make a really good impression.
We don’t know why but a lot of people think that asking questions is almost a form weakness – but it really isn’t. Remember, the employer isn’t expecting you to know everything – so asking questions is part of your learning process.
The digital industry can be a little overwhelming to start with – so it’s completely understandable that you’re going to have a few questions. If there’s something you’re not sure about – find the appropriate time to ask a question – you don’t want to be bombarding them with questions when they’re in the middle of an important task. But if you’re unsure, always ask – they’d much rather you asked than do it wrong!
You want to learn lots from this work experience – so get yourself a notepad and write everything down. You’ll find that you’ll probably have one-to-ones with your colleagues where they’ll go through everything you need to know – so make sure you make lots of notes.
You can then re-write it and make sure you understand it all properly – this way you can avoid asking silly questions as well. Before you ask a question – resort back to your notes and make sure you’re not asking anything you should already know.
Get To Know Your Colleagues
Your colleagues will most likely have been in the industry for at least a year or so – so they’ll know all about the highs and lows of it. If they’ve got a staff social – make sure you get yourself there – you can have a good conversation with them about what career you want to go in to. It’s also a great way of getting new connections – because there may be people at the social that you might not have been able to speak to before – and you never know when you might come across them in your future career!
Get Some Feedback
At the end of your experience ask for a bit of feedback – you want to know what you did well and what needs some work. This way you can go away from your experience knowing what you need to do next to get a job in digital. So make sure you ask to have a proper sit down with your employer before you leave – they should want to do that anyway – but if they don’t, just ask!
So there we go – five ways you can make the most out of your digital work experience – if you have any other ideas make sure you comment below.