Importance of Work Experience
Importance of Work Experience (3:09)
“So when you’re interviewing for the first time and you’re thinking about how you want to sell yourself to that hiring manager or recruiter, you want to be very focused and specific about what the qualifications are for that particular job and why you think that you’re a match for them. And you want to give specific anecdotes, specific examples in your past that illustrate why you are the perfect person.”
It is important to gain early work experience. I worked as a lifeguard and a swim instructor in high school, and it taught me responsibility and not just responsibility for myself but for other people. You can imagine when you’re a lifeguard, other people’s lives are in your hands, and you have to not only help them in an emergency but help them understand how to prevent a problem. I also worked on a team, and so it taught me how to work with other people in an effective way.
Young girls really need to be thinking about their future and, as soon as possible, that they have some type of work experience. It’s really never too early to become a disciplined worker.
My very first job was a summer job selling shoes at a Sears store, so I was very diverse in my job history. So it doesn’t mean that you can’t become a doctor if you sell shoes in the summer. I wrapped gifts during the holidays at the store. And probably, in my latter years to a couple of years in college, I got a job at the local hospital picking up all the autoclave equipment.
Part of how you find a summer job when you’re younger is the same way that you might find a job when you’re older, and that is you want to start talking to people, you want to start talking to everyone you know: people at your school, maybe your teachers, administrators, parents of your friends, people like your place of worship. And if you can figure out a specific area that you’re interested in, that’s even better. If you say, “I’m really interested in a job where I can do some research in marine biology. Can I go to a lakeside and really study some of the marine life there? Do you know anyone who’s doing that kind of work, paid or unpaid? Please put me in touch with them.” So that’s what I mean about getting specific.
Really hone in on what you want in life. You want to become a dancer? Enroll yourself in some amazing dancing courses. If you want to be a doctor, maybe do a few medical retreats. I mean, for young girls, I’m sure there’s camps out there. Or if you want to become a publicist like me, see if you can get an internship at some of the PR firms.
Internships, I feel, are really important because you’re getting that reality of what the industry is. And so being able to work day in and day out by people who have chosen this as their career path, you’re really seeing what it is that you enjoy about it, what it is that you’re not enjoying about it, and it’s a great experience to be able to do as a trial period.
So when you’re interviewing for the first time and you’re thinking about how you want to sell yourself to that hiring manager or recruiter, you want to be very focused and specific about what the qualifications are for that particular job and why you think that you’re a match for them. And you want to give specific anecdotes, specific examples in your past that illustrate why you are the perfect person.
Independent Learning Guide: This all-purpose guide can be used by educators, parents, and mentors to jumpstart a lively discussion about the importance of work experience.
You don’t have to wait until you graduate from college to start planning for a career. The role models in this video share tips for finding work, advice that will work just as well when you’re older!
Classroom Lesson Plan: This step-by-step lesson plan is available to guide a more in-depth “before, during, and after” learning experience when viewing the video with students. This lesson plan is also suitable for use in after-school programs and other educational settings.
Fun Page Activity: This activity lets you see what responsibilities come with different careers. Whether you like to help people get along or enjoy managing money, you might find one that’s a match for you!