Work experience can be different for everyone depending on what kind of route you are looking to take. It can be stressful trying to find something that suits you, and will help you achieve your goals, whether that’s to get a specific job or have simply have some fun.

This is why we want to make it easier for you to find the right work experience. There’s a myriad of different options, all of which have their benefits, so it’s important to think about what kinds of jobs you are interested in before you begin your search.

Whether you know exactly what you want to do or have absolutely no idea, the aim of this page is to help you find work experience that is right for you. It is important you don’t put yourself off because you aren’t sure of a career path yet, that’s all part of the work experience process. We have broken this page down into three sections based upon the varying situations you may find yourself in.

 How to find the right work experience if…

  • You have a specific apprenticeship, job, or university course in mind

    In this case, you are already in an excellent position for finding work experience as you know what the end goal is.

    A good place to start is by doing some research on the companies you are interested in. If it’s a degree course such as Nursing, you can look for the leading employer of this role, such as the NHS. They might have a section on their website for work experience, where you can find out whether they offer placements to school leavers or those under 16.

    Suppose they don’t provide work experience directly. In that case, you can move onto looking at employers who offer a similar apprenticeship or job role and reach out to them for some experience. It’s great to know what you want to do but always keep an open mind. Even if something isn’t 100% suited to the role you want to end up doing, it will still be a valuable experience.

  • You know a general career, sector, or field you want to work in but not a specific job

    For example, you may be interested in working in the Media or Education but not sure what specific roles are available. In this instance, work experience is the perfect opportunity to discover what goes on in these industries. In some work experience placements, you can ask to do a couple of days in a few different departments to get a feel for what tasks and duties the varying roles involve.

    To find the right work experience, in this case, you could firstly look for the big companies who provide the career you are interested in, such as the BBC for Media. Reach out to them, see what they have to offer in your area, or further afield if you have the ability to travel.

    On a smaller scale, you can research what companies operate in this sector within your local area. You might find there is a local newspaper that offers work experience to students. In a company like this, there are opportunities to try different roles, such as journalism, editing, or photography.

  • You have no idea

    It’s okay not to know what job or career you want. Don’t let this stop you trying lots of different things; you don’t have to commit to anything you don’t enjoy.

    An excellent place to start if you are unsure of what jobs you might like is to think about what you already enjoy. This might be a particular subject in school, or a group you attend at the weekend. From there you can think about jobs that are related. If its maths you enjoy at school, ask your maths teacher what kind of jobs use these skills. Or if it’s a theatre group you enjoy, ask if the teacher if they can provide you with some experience working alongside them.

    Another good tip for finding the right experience is thinking about the environment you want to work in. Whether you want to work in a big team, or work in a job that means you are outdoors a lot of the time. Whatever it may be, make sure to choose work experience that will give you a taster closest to the real thing.