5 things to know before you begin any work experience

  1. Working in an office is not like working in the office. It will (I guarantee) be boring at some points, if not all points. The people there will not be insane/unsociable rejects of normal society. They will be normal people with their own friends and their own lives; not there to make your work experience in any way ‘fun’.
  2. Work experience is only worth the reference you receive. Chances are you will not receive any sort of qualifications from work experience, nor any relevant actual work experience. You will not gain any knowledge or skills. Just be nice and helpful and get a good reference – it’s the only reason you’re there.
  3. Remembering names is not that essential. You will undoubtedly be introduced to everyone in the office, the cafeteria, the security staff, the reception and the mail man. You will be one of the only new people they meet and they will remember your name. You, on the other hand, will meet hundreds more people and forget most of their names. Whilst remembering names is polite and sometimes helpful, thanks to the Internet, massive use of business cards and the fact that you’re only there for a week, it’s not too essential.
  4. Your ‘co-workers’ will become your new best friends. You’re used to seeing your school friends/uni friends every other day. If not you speak on the phone or email or text or Skype or tweet, etc…. You will see your new co-workers every single day for at least 8 hours. You will become united in your boredom and distrust of the edibility of the food. You will send each other pointless emails to pass away the time. And you will miss them when you go.
  5. However, goodbyes will not be hard. Maybe a few swapsies of business cards (not phone numbers-this is not a party) and a ‘good luck’ for the future and that will be it. You slogged out a whole week with these people but there will be no emotional goodbyes, no ‘saludades’, no ‘see you next week’s’. However, by the time you wake up the next day, at a time that isn’t ‘where is the sun’ o’clock, you will be over it.

Good luck!

Have fun!

And get the reference!!!

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