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Work experience

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Amp34, 8 Mar 2010.

  1. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: 25 Jul 2005

    Posts: 28,867

    Location: Canada

    I'm still struggling to get a decent full time job 9 months after uni in the sector I want to work in so am thinking of sending off a few emails asking for work experience. Anyone got any experience with how to approach it and not get used?

    In reality i'm not going to be able to do what I really want to get into because it would cost the company too much money (medicals/industry training and travel costs) but hopefully a bit of work experience in an office at least, which I can then add to an internship I did whilst at uni. I'm thinking of asking for expenses but not an actual wage and stating some how that i'll work a maximum of 4(?) weeks unpaid, then either leave or start being paid, just not sure how to word it properly. Expenses would probably include rent/use of a flat/apartment which may put some companies off?

    So yeah anyone done this? It seems there are quite a few graduates thinking about/doing the same thing at the moment..
     
  2. Deiwos

    Mobster

    Joined: 30 Nov 2006

    Posts: 3,180

    I know a number of people who have done internships/work experience for free in order to get their foot in the door for what they want to do. If you really want to get your foot in the door, and can't find a job, I'd go down that route.

    Personally, I think you'll be hard pressed to find a company willing to pay you anything be it expenses or otherwise if all you're offering is 4 weeks. You might have more luck if you suggested a longer period, say 6 months, but even then, I think you'd struggle. I don't think 4 weeks is a long enough time to gauge how well someone is going to work. Most companies have 3-6 month probationary periods, so I think you'd have to suggest that sort of time scale to get them interested, and certainly not ask for money right off the bat.
     
  3. hyperzed

    Gangster

    Joined: 2 Jan 2004

    Posts: 418

    I wouldn't make any demands for them to commit to you financially. If I had a letter like that i'd ignore it. The best thing is to go in and show enthusiasm and commitment to them for however many weeks, you might find that since you haven't asked for anything they may reward you.

    A friend of mine did this at an IT company, he worked in their web design department for 6 weeks for nothing and they told him his time was up. He accepted it and walked away and then they called to say they were so impressed with his attitude they offered him a perm contract.
     
  4. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: 25 Jul 2005

    Posts: 28,867

    Location: Canada

    The reason I chose a month is because I assumed that would be a reasonable amount of time to work for free. TBH I would begrudge the idea of working for a profit making company (and in the industry I want to work in, oil and gas that can be a very LARGE profit) for 6 months without recieving a penny in return, especially when paid jobs would net you possibly upwards of £30k. It's using you and its denying someone else/you a full paying job. Perhaps i'm in a dream world with that however. :)

    With the work experience I wouldn't expect to be offerend a job after the month, just give a specific end date as I could see a lot of companies saying "if you work for another couple of weeks we'll employ you", then two weeks down the line another couple of weeks and so on (i'm sure someone on this board was stung by this).

    The problem is (quite obviously) if i'll have to move somewhere how can I afford to work for them for free. I can't magic rent and food out of thin air and as i'd be working full time I wouldn't be able to finance it another way...

    So all in all it sounds like it's going to be very unlikely to find one then? I was working on the assumption that a lot of companies do internships (like I did) that will pay you, but only really for students, so working for them for a month or two doing the same thing would be reasonable?:)
     
    Last edited: 8 Mar 2010
  5. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: 25 Jul 2005

    Posts: 28,867

    Location: Canada

    Obviously I wouldn't send an email like that, i'd try and bring it up in a discussion/interview, pointing out that I couldn't do it without that.

    See, that's fine, the reason I was wondering about putting in a cravet of x number of weeks is to stop them dragging me along, but I'd hope a good company would say something similar to what the IT company did (and i'd be fine with that). Thinking about it 4 weeks is a short length of time, a standard internship is around 8 weeks and I guess that's a good amount of time. :)

    Perhaps I'm also getting the wrong idea from my internship, where they would have provided the use of a flat as well as the flat wage for the duration of my internship if I had worked in the UK, I assume a lot of companies would have the same resource, but maybe not?
     
    Last edited: 8 Mar 2010
  6. hyperzed

    Gangster

    Joined: 2 Jan 2004

    Posts: 418

    Out of interest, what sort of job are you looking to get into? I work in oil and gas procurement and our company has taken on grads with no experience before. It's just a matter of approaching it the right way, hopefully someone else can help you there:)
     
  7. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: 25 Jul 2005

    Posts: 28,867

    Location: Canada

    The Geoscience side, exploration, surveying even mudlogging, that sort of thing (I did Geology at uni). At the moment I'm not too bothered as such to what exactly I want to do because I'm young and have not much experience of the industry.

    The problem i'm finding at the moment is even with some experience there just aren't many jobs out there. I've applied for about 15 actual jobs that I've found for a huge range of things I may be able to do but not had much luck with them (only a couple of interviews) as well as 100+ speculative CV's. It's also not good to be hearing from a few people, both in the industry and in recruitment that it's very difficult for grads at the moment as those that are employing have the pick of those laid off over the last year or two as well as other grads.

    I'd love to just give my time without expenses paid but just can't afford it and at the moment its a choice between that and essentially twiddling my thumbs in a variety of temp jobs every so often.:)