3 Things my Placement has taught me

Hey there!

This post is sharing with you the key things I have learnt on my placement. To give some context, I am doing a three week placement as a merchandiser at Primark Head Office. I have seen some comments floating about twitter about how frustrating it can be applying for them, especially when it's very rare for someone to actually get back to you, so I want to share the things I have learnt to keep you going. It will be worth it in the end.


1. Experience is Priceless:
Before I started my placement, I wasn't really looking forward to working for 3 weeks, without getting paid and if I didn't have to do it for university, I probably wouldn't have bothered. Oh how stupid that would have been. I've only been there for a week and I've already learnt so much that university never teaches you. Alongside learning more about the role and the tasks that are required within that job role, I have learnt the structure of this individual business, how it compares to industry standards and why it works in that way. I've also learnt what interviewers are looking for in regards to my role and what things you can do in an interview that will immediately get you a no. It's surprisingly how the smallest thing, that you might not even realise you said,  could make the difference between getting a job or being rejected. I have also made invaluable contacts that are key when you are trying to get into an industry that is about who you know and not just what you know. I've learnt so much in just one week and I'm excited to learn more in the next two weeks! My best advice in regards to this is to prep beforehand. I didn't do this, but since I started it is something I have been thinking about. Think about what you want to specifically find out that they may not tell you, as it may be outside of your job role; this could be in regards to job opportunities, more placements, or even just learning more about the business as a whole. Finding out things like that shows you are interested in the business & at interviews I always find that they ask 'What do you know about the business' so that would be your chance to provide them with knowledge that other people may not necessarily have. Chances are there will be someone you're working with who can answer all your questions or put you in contact with someone else.


2. Having Confidence:
Now I'm not gonna lie, when I was applying for placements I was absolutely terrified at the thought of being given one and having to actually go. Anyone who actually knows me will know that I have a speech impediment (That makes it sound really serious, when in reality it's just a stutter) which can make it hard for me to do things outside of my comfort zone, especially surrounded by new people. Although I try not to let it get it in the way,  it can still be a problem. However, I've found that this hasn't been as big of a problem as I imagined it to be, but that's always the case I find - I overthink things so much and then when I actually do them I realise that it was a waste of time and I didn't have anything to worry about it. In the past week, I have spoken to, and introduced myself to, so many new people, which I know doesn't sound like much to other people, but we all have our own measures of success. I have been able to compete tasks which I never thought I'd be able to, but if I was ever unsure, I was confident enough to ask for help. It definitely helps that everyone is so lovely, but you have to be confident enough to put yourself out there and speak up for yourself, even if they aren't. A little trick that actually works for me is even if you don't feel confident, as long as you look & act it, no one will be any the wiser and once you act confident you will soon start feeling it. 


3. You don't need to have your whole life mapped out:
When I first started to look for placements, I had no idea what I wanted to do within the fashion industry; Buying, Merchandising, Journalism, etc. The possibilities are endless. However, having landed myself a placement, I now realise that it doesn't matter if you don't know what you want to do, spending a few weeks in a particular job role is the perfect way to find out if you like it. There is nothing wrong with spending a week or two trying something new and finding out you don't like it. At least you will have learnt something and it may even help you in getting another placement for a different role. Opportunities can appear at any time and I firmly believe that if one comes up, you should take it, even if you don't know if it is what you want to do. Having one experience will then make you more confident to try another one, until you end up finding something that you love. Just like I have.


Those are three main things I have learnt after just a week there. I hope it has encouraged you to keep on looking and taught you the importance of one, especially if you're considering entering the fashion industry or another competitive industry. Have you had a placement before? How did you find it? How did you feel before it? Let me know your experiences. I might do another post similar, or on another topic when I have completed it, if you would want to see that. Let me know and I will see you in my next post.

Comments

  1. Fab post Jade! It sounds like your placement has been a really useful experience! It's great that you've gained a bit of confidence and worked through your initial worries! I did a museum work placement last summer which was so useful, it's also a competitive industry so experience is everything!

    Abbey 🌻 www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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    1. Thankyou love! It is so useful, I can't even explain how much. That sounds like fun, I agree that experience is always great too have xx

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  2. This is a great post! I realized the same things when I started my job. experience is so important and you don't have to do the same thing your entire life! xx corinne

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    1. Thankyou lovely! That s so true, the only way to find out if you like something is to try it x

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  3. Fabulous post, really enjoy reading things like this, getting an insight to others lives, experience is something I really think is important when it comes to growing and working towards dreams x

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    1. Thankyou lovely! I agree - it is so important x

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  4. I think I'm a bit too young to say that I relate to this post (I'm at the whopping age of 16 years young) but I still think that this post has got things in it that can teach me a lot - I love that you're encouraging to have confidence (something I struggle with ALL the time and I know I'm not the only one) and to say yes to things. I'll for sure come back to this post if I'm ever in a similar situation! Great work!

    xx Solange | creativepineapples.blogspot.com

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    1. Haha you're never too young - I did my first work experience at the age of 16, it was compulsory n my school haha. Not that that experience is relevant to my career choice now, but I still learnt loads from it. I'm so glad you found it helpful xx

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  5. Wow this sounds like it's been an awesome experience for you. Great that you are learning so much and it's going to open doors in the future. I hope the rest of the placement is as good as the first week.

    www.exploreacorner.com

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    1. Thankyou lovely, it has been a great experience and I'm still enjoying it! x

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  6. This was a great post! I remember doing my work experience which was now 14 years ago! Ahem! I now have work experience people in our office and you're completely right- the more experience you have the better, it's so important to get used to working environments and invaluable on your CV now as so many people have so many qualifications what candidates are lacking is experience! You're so right about figuring out your path- I did my work experience at a hairdressers and I'm now a chartered surveyor (by day! Blogger by night!)

    Good luck with your future career path! Xxx

    www.juderivers.com

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    1. Haha, that's not too long ago! Yes, nowadays it's definitely so useful to have experience, as it's also a great way to make contacts in any industry. Haha, I guess you couldn't get any more different. Thankyou lovely! x

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  7. Seems like your placement has actually been a valuable experience! You've learnt so much and it's really interesting to read about! My work experience was awful! Confidence is definitely key! X

    Victoria | VictoriaaHelenn

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    1. Aw thankyou! Ah, that's a shame, at least you would have still learnt something from it x

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  8. This looks so its something that will stick with you, endearing to read.

    Beth / http://allthebrightplaces.co.uk xxx

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    1. Thankyou lovely, I have definitely really enjoyed it! x

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  9. Hi Jade.

    This post has honestly left me feeling so inspired. I have been unemployed for a few months now and whilst applying for jobs I get so terrified just thinking about going. Especially if it's a job I really want, I eventually talk myself out of going. It's really good to hear that there's other people who feel the same way.

    It sounds like your experience so far has been amazing, I hope it continues to be so.

    Really great post. Thank you.

    SH;AL-xo

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    1. Aw, I'm so glad it's left you feeling that way!! It can be so frustrating when you feel like you're not getting anywhere, but you just have to keep going. Something amazing will come up eventually. Thankyou, I hope it does to! xx

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  10. Wow, I love this post! It sounds like your placement at Primark is something you'll value throughout the rest of your career. For all the negative things you hear about the business, it's nice to hear a success story every now and then!
    I'm entering the health care industry. Although it may not be as competitive, it's harder to get into specialist jobs, so I'm taking as many placement opportunities as possible. I've been in three different placements in two years and although nervous at first, I always come away having learnt something that will benefit my future career. Like you said, they are helpful, even if you don't know what you want to do yet. Great post!

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    1. Thankyou so much lovely! Yes it's great, everyone is so lovely and welcoming! That's definitely a good idea. That way when it comes to finding a job, you will be able to apply for a range of different jobs and once you're in it's easier to move around the different sections. Hope everything goes well for you xx

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  11. Great post! I've recently been on some work experience too and I couldn't get enough of it! Although I don't like doing work for free it's the best way to gain so much knowledge and experience! xo

    Hanney | www.blogabouthanney.com

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  12. Sounds like you had a good three weeks! It's a shame experience isn't encouraged more in schools- it's such a good way of learning, and can be far more effective in the world of work than staring at a textbook!

    Gabija | EveryLittleThing Blog

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