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Kick some career goals with the right job placement

So, a job has caught your eye, and you want to learn more. A work experience placement is  a great way to learn more about an industry you are thinking of joining. But how do you go  about getting work experience or an internship?

How to go about finding a job placement

There are four quick steps to get you started on finding that perfect job placement or work  experience. 

  1. Hop online: It may sound like captain obvious, but the first step is jumping online.  Large companies often run programs where you can apply directly.  
  2. Apply directly: If the company you are interested in doesn’t offer a formal program,  try applying directly to them. But make sure you do your homework first — read up on the organisation, what they do and who their key people are. Use that knowledge when  mentioning why you are interested in working at the company.  
  3. Utilise your contacts: Make it known among your family and friends that you are  interested in work experience and eager to learn new skills. Your school or university might also have strong links with local employers, councils and organisations. Ask if any of their contacts offer work experience placements.  
  4. Believe in yourself: Don’t say you’ll be happy to do anything — even if it’s true! Be  specific and mention the past experience you’ve had in that industry and say, “but I would love to learn more about XXX”, or “I read/heard your company is working on XXX, are there any opportunities for me to learn more about it?”  

Make the most out of the opportunity

Once inside the company, make the most of the time. Set specific goals about what you want to learn, what you need to improve on and even who you want to meet.

When at work, present yourself well and fit in with the work culture. See what the other employees wear and how they deport themselves and follow suit. Keep a good attitude and stay motivated even if the most tedious tasks are given to you.

If you are assigned a mentor, meet with them as often as they are available. They are there to help you, so ask for feedback, learn from them and ask questions. And remember to thank them!

This is also a chance to build professional relationships, so go outside your department and introduce yourself to as many people as you can.

Going from intern to full-time job

You don’t get what you don’t ask for.

Some people do work experience or internships to gain  experience, improve their skills, or test their interest in a particular industry. But if your goal  is to work with the company full time once the opportunity has come to an end, then it’s alright to say so. 

That may sound a little forward, but your manager can’t read minds and may think you are  not interested if you don’t come right out and say so. 

But that’s pointless if you don’t have a good reputation. Interns are often given the dull tasks  no one else wants to do but if you do them without complaint people will remember you for your positive attitude. 

Even after all that, you still may not get an offer. Don’t take it personally, as there may be an  opportunity later on or a position may become available at a similar company. Keep working hard, and they’ll be happy to recommend you. 

Finding that placement can take time and effort, but it’s well worth going down that rabbit  hole to find the perfect opportunity. It’s a great chance to learn, meet people who can help  you later on and, above all, discover exactly what it is you want to do professionally.