Work experience is a short term placement in an organisation which gives you a feel for the role. It also helps you see what a day in the life looks like for someone who has that particular job. As part of your work experience you’ll likely carry out only a few important tasks, and will mainly complete other tasks such as assisting, making tea and coffee and photocopying etc. It will give you a chance to observe and see what you could be doing in the future.
Do I get paid if I do work experience?
Some work experience placements are paid and some are not. It is up to the organisation and depends on what tasks they will get you to do. Generally, work experience is usually unpaid because it’s over a short period of time, however your travel and/or lunch costs will often be covered or reimbursed.
If I do work experience, what will I get out of it?
Nothing impresses an employer more than seeing that you’ve gone out of your way (especially during your free time) to gain work experience and improve on your skills. This shows enthusiasm and dedication to your future career. There are many benefits of work experience such as:
- You can improve on the skills you already have and gain new skills to add to your CV
- You can get a feel of a typical theatre work environment
- It will give you a chance to meet new people within the theatre industry and these people (often referred to as contacts) can give you positive references and advice for future jobs. Some may even be able to put you in touch with someone for a potential job
- Work experience looks really impressive on your CV and stands out to employers. It will also give you great things to talk about in your interview and get you ahead of the game in terms of your knowledge
- The organisation you’re completing work experience with may be so impressed with you that they may offer you a position in the company. This is always a bonus!
For more info about work experience in the creative industries, you can also take a look at our blog 'Where can I find general careers information about the creative industries?'
Work experience is great for all the reasons above, but we must highlight concerns around the exploitation of young people. When you get involved in these experience opportunities you must be aware of the impact of low or unpaid work and also ensure you know your rights beforehand.
Photo: Alex Brenner
Published: 16 May 2019