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Why Work Experience?

I know we’ve not even eaten our Easter eggs yet. I haven’t even bought any Easter eggs yet! I did have a Cadburys Cream Egg the other day, but thats beside the point. Anyway, despite being the wrong side of Easter, believe it or not, the summer is fast approaching. The mornings are becoming lighter, the temperatures are rising!

Well, the mornings are becoming lighter, that bit was true.

And before you know it you will have had your last lesson, sat your last exam of the year, and be diving into the summer break. Six weeks of bliss.

Relaxing. Netflix. Seeing Friends. Holidays. Sun. Festivals. It is going to be amazing, right?

Well, yes, maybe. But maybe, just maybe, this summer you should think about doing some work experience?

No no, please don’t stop reading there! I know this blog post has been full of happy sentiment so far, and things just took a very very dark turn, but hear me out.

Before you start yelling aimlessly into the screen, listing all the reasons you definitely should not enter the world of work experience this summer. Stop. Not only will it be fruitless, as I can’t hear you. But I know them. I know the reasons, I know the excuses. Hell, i’ve used them.

I’ve explained to my parent in great detail exactly why spending my summer break working for free is not the right life choice to make. Lets go over some of them shall we?

1- I just did a WHOLE YEAR at school/uni, with coursework and exams and its really hard work, and its tiring, I deserve a break. I need a break!

I used this one many times. And to be honest, to an extent I still stand by it. School is hard. It’s tiring. I often finished a year feeling mentally and physically drained. And i’ll let you into a little secret, your teacher always finish the year feeling mentally and physically drained. But that’s partly your fault so we won’t go into that. I get that you want a break, a rest. But you have six weeks. Thats a long time. If you’re not fully recuperate in one, at a max two, then you need to have a serious look at your diet, or your sleeping habits, or whatever it is that’s preventing you from recovering. The summer holidays are long, and no one is telling you that you should spend every minute of every day working or doing work experience. But one or two weeks won’t hurt. Trust me.

2- But none of my friends are doing work experience! So why should I have to?

To clarify- you don’t have to. Compulsory work experience for students isn’t currently a thing, and I certainly am not pushing for it. And you’re probably right. Your friends probably aren’t doing work experience. But that isn’t a reason not to do work experience. It’s actually a pretty huge reason to do some! Your friend, see they might be your friends now, they might still be your friends in a years time, ten years even, but one day they might become your competitor. You might find yourself applying and interviewing for the same job as your friends. And if not your friends, then somebodys friends. A lot of people don’t do work experience. So when you’re sending off your C.V’s to companies, and so thousands of other people your age, who do you think is going to get the interview? Your friend who spend his summer playing FIFA and hang out in town, or your other friend, who spent their summer gaining valuable work experience?

3- But this is my last proper school holiday! I will never get a break like this again!

Now you need to treasure this one, save it up, as you can only use it once. But at the end of your penultimate year in education, you will realise that the mammoth break ahead of you is going to be your last. In twelve months time you will need to be applying for jobs and you will never have six consecutive weeks off again. Unless of course, in twelve months time, you’re applying for jobs and not getting any. Because the other applicants have more experience, better C.V’s. Then you might find yourself having an extended break. But this one won’t be nearly as fun as the last few you enjoyed.

So use this blog post as you wish. Use the excuses I have given you to masterfully persuade your parents that this summer you should be able to chill out and do what you please for six weeks. Alternatively, you might read this and realise that yes the summer holidays are fun, and exciting, and a great time to get a break. But at the same time, it might not be that long until you are applying for work, at which time you will need every advantage you can give yourself to land a job. And work experience is an advantage. A significant one. It tells employers that you’re forward thinking, and dedicated.

So it’s up to you. Be juvenile and immature and spend your summer playing games and wasting away the days on the internet or in front of the TV. Or take the mature option, show your parents that you have grown up and are ready to present yourself as an adult. Enjoy a few weeks off but apply for some work experience too. Spend your summer having fun and being productive.

Have a think, and make the decision. You have a good couple months to make up your mind. And if I was in your position, and had this choice to make, which option would I choose?

Honestly? I don’t know.

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