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Getting The Most Out Of Work Experience In The Hunt For A Construction Job
Work experience can help you gain relevant skills in the construction industry that will be of use to you when applying for a real construction job at a later stage. It can help you decide whether it is something you really want to do.
There are a number of ways you can get work experience in the construction world, e.g. voluntary work, internships, apprenticeships, gap work, sandwich courses etc
So, once you have secured your work experience, what are the best things to bear in mind in order to get the most out of it?
Goals – set your goals before you start so you know what you want to get out of it.
Mentor – ask for an individual to look after you if you have not already been assigned one. This way, you will receive constant feedback, you can ask them questions and they can help you to achieve you pre-set goals.
Diary – each day write down exactly what you do, what skills you learn, how you have developed and reflect on what you have done. This can be referred to in future when applying for an actual job.
Contribute – what you get out of your work experience depends on what you put in so it is important to contribute ideas. When you do not understand something, ask! If you do not feel you are being properly utilised, then say so and ask if you can get involved in certain areas that interest you. Not only will you learn more, but also you will look keen and interested.
Proactive – asks loads of questions and speak to as many people as you possibly can. How did people get their construction role they are in, what do they like and dislike, what they are actually do in a day, what promotional opportunities are there.
Variation – if you are not already, ask if you can get involved in different aspects of the role so you are able to learn more. This will help you get the most of the experience and broaden your knowledge.
Reference – ask your mentor/supervisor/manager if they will be a reference as this can become very useful when applying for real construction jobs.
Network – try to build your network of contacts whilst you are working, as this will help you in the future. Ask for business cards and contact details to start early!
Work experience can be a very useful thing to highlight when applying for a new job as it gives you first hand experience. However, doing work experience and doing it well are two different things. It is imperative to put maximum effort in, in order to get the most out of it. Always keep in the back of your mind that you are doing this to secure your next construction role.
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