While the end goal is often to step out of a placement with a permanent role, there are so many other fantastic benefits you can gain while on your placement that can lead to fantastic opportunities down the track; from building a network, to opening yourself up to introductions, future learning opportunities, events — the list is endless.
So how can you ensure you make an impact and leave a lasting impression while you’re on your placement?
You are responsible for your own placement experience. You have twelve weeks to make an impression of the kind of employee you are. Do you present as enthusiastic, positive, proactive and a team-player? Or are you sitting-back, waiting for others to take the lead, waiting for tasks to be given to you?
Being punctual, asking your team if there’s anything you can help with, putting your hand up for projects and getting involved in social events are great ways to show you are motivated to being a part of the business. Your placement is all about gaining experience and exposing yourself to new tasks — asking to shadow team member or try your hand at something new will show you here for the right reasons, you want to learn and you are taking that learning into your own hands.
Put simply, people like working with people they like. We spend a lot of our time at work so it is vital that we get along with our team, that we collaborate well and that our skills and traits complement each others. Making an effort with your team and the people in your wider business is vital on a professional and social level.
When it comes to team work, are you putting your hand up to assist others? Are you offering suggestions, feedback and commentary when asked? Make yourself known in the team in a helpful and polite way. Social gatherings, work organised team activities or even grabbing a coffee with a colleague are great ways to form bonds with your team mates.
Your network is key to your career success. Your professional connections are people you can turn to, learn from and utilise for potential career opportunities, mentoring, referring talent and potential recruits, and even to get your job done through advice, suggestions and ideas. When you are on your placement you have access to entire organisation to start building out your network — not just in your team or department but throughout the entire organisation. Build relationships with these people, spend time with them, and connect with them through email and LinkedIn.
People often won’t remember things do, but they will remember the way you made them feel. Did you make a team mates day a little easier by offering to do a task? Did you make your supervisors life better by showing up proactively to a meeting prepared and organised? Did you notice your colleague was super busy, and so you offered to make them a coffee? It is the little things that go a long way. You only have twelve weeks to make an impact — so how can you go an extra mile to make sure you stand out?