Whether you’re leaving school, considering a career change, or wanting to return to work after a break, work experience can be a real help
While many of us might see work experience as something you do to get a foot on the career ladder when leaving school or university, it can actually be extremely valuable at any stage of your career.
Whether you want to learn new skills, are getting back into work after a career break, or you’re changing industry, work experience provides a whole host of benefits that can help you.
Work experience is a great way to improve or gain skills and increase your breadth of knowledge. Whatever position you’re in, you’re likely to be developing important transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, organisation and self-management – as well as ones more closely related to your chosen industry or job role.
Whether it involves shadowing members of staff, attending meetings, taking on different tasks or working as part of a team, doing a work experience placement gives you a real understanding of a day-to-day job in a particular sector. So it’s a good way to help you decide whether you’ve made the right career choice, or test out a new industry if you’re considering a change.
If you’ve had a career break, work experience can also help to get you back into the world of work and allow you to stand out to potential employers.
In 2017, we launched our brand new Royal London Insight into Work programme, after our members told us how valuable work experience can be. No matter what stage you’re at, we want to help where we can. That’s why we opened our programme to all members and their families, aged 14 and above.
With two-week or four-week placement opportunities available in various teams throughout Royal London, such as Consumer, Operations, Finance, Intermediary, HR and Legal, there really is something for everyone.
When you come and join us for your placement, you’ll be getting a proper insight into day-to-day life at Royal London, taking on real tasks and working closely with your chosen team.
In 2017, our work experience candidates took on placements in our offices around the UK. From writing presentations and analysing figures to individual projects and contributing to team meetings, they all got stuck into work at Royal London.
“My experience here has been really enjoyable. It’s a lovely team and work environment, and everyone seems to really care about the products. One of the main tasks I got given was a personal project. This was engaging a younger generation in using investment and protection products, which I then presented to the rest of the team. [Because of this placement] I’ve discovered what career path I could eventually go down.”
“Working in an office was really good for me. All my expectations were exceeded [in terms of] the environment and the people I’ve been working with – they always had time for me. It gave me such an insight into what I’d like to do in the future, and you find that you learn more about yourself. I’ve worked on Excel spreadsheets and made PowerPoint presentations, and it’s quite satisfying seeing a presentation you’ve made being used in Royal London’s day-to-day work.”
“The team seemed genuinely interested in giving me a good experience. Being a history graduate, I love analysing things and compiling them for people. I felt that the work was tailored towards me in that sense. I did research on an investment company, so a lot of what I was presenting to the Distribution team was new and directly applicable to things they would use in the future. One of the people I worked with would occasionally give two hours a day of his time to help me produce something that I was ultimately very proud of.”
“Having worked here for two weeks I’ve definitely decided that I want to go into asset management. At the beginning I was just looking at figures, but once I’d been coached I could go to a far deeper level to analyse [them] and report back to the team. I’ve been going to meetings with my managers and clients, and shadowing staff members to gain a better understanding of what they do. I’ve seen the importance of teamwork, and it’s increased my confidence as I’ve made suggestions to team members, which have been received well.”
“Working in both HR and Finance gave me such a varied insight into the different departments. In HR I’ve enjoyed connecting with people – when you get to read an email after you’ve helped somebody you get satisfaction. In Finance, I’ve been doing invoices, working with different spreadsheets and helping the business run. I now have belief in myself and feel that if I wanted to go down this route I could.”
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