Home > Careers, Employment > My Work Experience Isn’t Relevant – A Graduates Perspective.

My Work Experience Isn’t Relevant – A Graduates Perspective.

4 months after starting my graduate job within the careers department I find myself sat at my desk considering how I actually got here. Looking back none of my work experience seemed relevant to my job. I was a cleaner for most of my time at university and before that I worked within the equestrian sector. But here I am working as a Graduate Careers and Placements Assistant, doing things I never thought I would be capable of.

So how did I get here with work experience which I felt was “irrelevant”? Often we find ourselves selling ourselves short as we feel like we cannot possibly have the experience to do a certain job. However jobs like the ones I did tend to give you a number of transferable skills and a unique perspective on working life. My first proper job was working within a branch of the HSBC bank as a cleaner, I had never had so much responsibility and at the time I didn’t realise how valuable working there would be.  I leant to take a pride in my work – the cleaner the bank was, the more I was appreciated which allowed me to be given more responsibility.  It taught me that I must stay organised, be professional and be able to maintain high levels of confidentiality, whilst ensuring health and safety standards were met.

You may think a job working at the local chippy won’t help you to gain a graduate level role but look beyond the obvious tasks of your job and think about all the different roles and responsibilities you have carry out that may be of importance to the company and enable you to meet the requirements of the person specification. Transferable skills can take many different forms such as:

  • problem solving
  • organisation
  • working to deadlines
  • management and leadership
  • negotiation
  • motivating people
  • making decisions
  • research skills

Next time you think a job sounds beyond the experience you have, look deeper and think about all of the small things that make you different from others and sell yourself; no work experience is “irrelevant” –  it’s how you sell yourself that matters.

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