Top 5 Benefits of Work Experience for Secondary School Students 

Séamus Kenny 

(Transition Year Student)

Students often develop a misleading story in their secondary education that what they are learning in school is not going to be applicable in real life. Due to a lack of awareness, some students lose interest in their studies. It is true that you cannot learn everything from a textbook before you use it or implement it in your real-life problems. It is because of this reason; work experience can play a vital role in shaping your career and can help students learn future-proof skills. Here, I am sharing the top 5 benefits of work experience for students. 

1: Helps you decide what career you would like 

Students normally choose their career path under the influence of their parents, friends, or stuff they watch online which includes movies or stories. Work experience is especially useful if you do not know what career you would like. Even if you did not like the work, you have learned something. Work experiences can give students an opportunity to work and feel the environment of a particular career. 

2: All the useful skills you learn 

In work experience, you will improve on many skills you may have begun to learn in school or at homes such as punctuality, discipline, and self-management. You may learn how to conduct yourself in the workplace, and how to interact with managers and co-workers. Many of them are soft skills such as analytical skills, problem-solving, and social skills which are also called skills for future jobs. Depending on your age you may also learn how to use public transport and factor it into self-management. All these skills and any others learned will help you succeed in securing your future employment and build your confidence. 

3: Finding the required qualifications for a given job/career 

Work experience also gives an idea of what college or apprenticeships you may need to do to be qualified for the job. This can help you figure out the points you need from your leaving cert. This is important to ask about while in the placement because the requirements may surprise you or not be quite what you think. 

4: Experience with the working world 

Work experience of how the working world works. This gives you an idea of how to manage deadlines and workload. It shows how to get from home to work and how to have a decent work–life balance. One of the most important skills that can be learned is that how to say “No” politely. Learning this skill can help you avoid burnout at work and manage a healthy relationship with your peers.  

5: Creating an optimum daily routine  

Work experience shows what a day in the 9-5 job looks like, how many hours you work, and how much time you have for breaks. You will learn how professionals manage their time at work to be more productive and about team-building activities including holidays which help them manage their work-life balance. An optimum daily routine gives you an opportunity for self-reflection and to track your progress.  

This is not an exhaustive list as there could be more benefits of work experience depending on the type of working environment and the potential of an individual candidate. All employers value work experiences and hence this will increase the chances of your selection for a given role. 

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