How to Gain Work Experience

Experience is one of the most important things recruiters look for in employees. Step into the limelight with our tips on How to Gain Work Experience.

To get work experience, you need to get a job, but in order to get a job, you need experience. It is a problem many people face. There are however, a variety of tips to follow on How to Gain Work Experience that will boost your career. 

Tips on How to Gain Work Experience

Struggling to gain work experience without a job? It can be difficult when it seems like the odds are stacked against you. No need to worry. Use these guidelines as a step towards greater heights in your career. 

Become a Volunteer

One of the easiest ways to gain experience is becoming a volunteer. Not only will you be working for a good cause, you can gain skills and experience through various duties. Activities can range from planning events, to admin and marketing duties as well.

Places you can volunteer with include:

Offer Affordable Services as a Freelancer

Who says you need to work for someone else to gain experience? Start your own freelance services like doing copywriting or creating CVs for people. Here you can work on your own hours, get paid and gain experience, all in one. 

And Lastly – to Work

Best way to gain work experience is to work. You will get on the job training and gain experience through your daily duties. The more you work, the more you learn the skills you need to thrive in your position. 

Get a job Without Experience

Many South Africans lack work experience. It is one of the reasons why the unemployment rate is so high. And there aren’t many employers who are willing to hire staff without experience. There are however, ways you can get a job without experience. 

Attend career expos – This is a great way to get a job as it has a range of employers lined up in one place. Speak to them, and find out if they have any entry level vacancies for you.

Network – Social media isn’t just for posting your vegan lunch. You can also use it to network with your future employers. An example of this is LinkedIn. It allows you to build a professional online presence where employers can connect with you.

Ask family and friends for help – An easy way to get a job is asking family and friends if they have vacancies at their company. Knowing someone on the inside is a great way to get a job.

Apply for a job on campus – Still studying but want to work as well? Why not find work on campus? There are various paying jobs like being a tutor, mentor, or researcher’s assistant.

Woman working in a factory after getting a job when she used our tips on How to Gain Work Experience.

Why Work Experience is so Important

When looking up job posts online, they usually require a few years of experience for the position. Some jobs need 1-2 years experience, others require 10+ years of experience. This all depends on the position you are applying for. But why is work experience so important?

Shows Your Ability to do Tasks

Experience shows employers that you have been exposed to certain work, meaning you know how to complete it. You have the ability to perform the practical tasks required of you. 

Employers Want you

With a mountain of experience, employers will be racing to have you at their company. Having experienced employers means they don’t need to train you. You can dive right into work.

Stay Ahead of Competitors

Become first pick when employers hire people. You stand a better job of getting hired for the job with relevant experience. Stand out from the crowd by building yourself up with experience.

Personal Growth

Experience doesn’t just benefit the company, it’s great for your personal growth as well. You will feel accomplished when you learn new skills. Who knows, it could lead to your next promotion.

Determine Your Career Path

Experience won’t just show you how far you’ve come, but also where you are going. Use it to help you see where your strengths lie, and decide which career path to follow. 

Things to Keep in Mind When Gaining Work Experience

Many think that gaining experience is straightforward. Yet there are a few things to consider when gaining workplace experience. 

Get relevant workplace experience – 3 years experience as a nail tech isn’t equal to 3 years experience as an IT manager. Make sure to get relevant experience that will benefit your career.

Work at a company for a least a year – Recruiters seek employees with a minimum 1- 2 years experience. Unless it’s an internship with a time limit, work at a company for at least a year.

Gain work experience as early as possible – Don’t wait till you are done studying to gain experience. There are many easy and effective ways to work and study at the same time.

Don’t just memorise, learn – Experience doesn’t mean working in a position for years. You need to be able to understand your work, and not just memorise its functions.

Be out of your comfort zone – You won’t gain new skills by doing the same thing over and over. Step out of your comfort zone and open yourself up to learning something new.

How to Gain Work Experience Without Matric

Don’t have matric? If so, you know how difficult it is to gain experience without matric. It seems like every door closes and you can’t get a break. But don’t allow that to get you down. There are ways in which you can gain experience and even get a job without matric.

Study a Course

Focus on your skills when you don’t have matric. Study further and allow your skills to make up for not having matric and experience. There are many courses you can study without matric. Before you set your mind on a course, determine where you will enrol first. Higher learning institutions where you can gain skills and experience include:

FET Colleges

FET colleges, also known as TVET colleges are a great way of studying if you want to gain experience without matric. As part of your practical, you will be placed in the industry you want to work in. Here you will get on the job training while pursuing your qualification.

Distance Learning

Want to study with a college that makes your education its top priority? Then study via distance learning. Here you can study and work at the same time. Distance learning will also teach you soft skills, which will help you successfully complete your work. These include:

  • Time management: To ensure you complete assignments on time
  • Organisational skills: Keep your study material and notes organised
  • Creativity: Thinking of various self-study methods to pass
  • Problem-solving skills: In case you have computer problems or having trouble uploading an assignment

Experience + Our Courses = a Successful Career

Take your workplace experience to the next level by studying our courses. Contact us today and one of our course consultants will help you get started. You can:

  • Call us on 0800 39 00 27
  • Fill in our contact form for a call back
Last Updated: October 30, 2020

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Charnell Ward
Charnell Ward
Charnell is a top-class content creator at Skills Academy. She creates engaging content with the aim to provide useful information on distance learning and further study opportunities. Her passion for writing goes beyond her career, as she enjoys writing short stories and volunteering as a writer in her free time. View my LinkedIn profile

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