How part-time work or an internship,
Leveraging an internship to get a great graduate job.
can land you a job after graduation.
Read time: 7 minutes
You’re working hard to get a high university grade but there’s always that thought at the back of your mind.
“Will this be enough to get me a good job?”
The first bit of good news is that the unemployment rate in Prague reached an all-time low in April 2017, namely 4.1% (https://tradingeconomics.com/czech-republic/unemployment-rate). At the moment, there are around 13,000 full time job openings only in Prague, plus roughly 2,000 part-time vacancies.
What this means for you is that employers are having to work harder for your attention. They are having to find more innovative ways of getting undergraduates into their net.
‘Gap year’ jobs
One way of doing this is by offering ‘gap year’ jobs.
These are a limited full time contract where you retain your status as a student while being committed to work full time for the company (between 6 months and a year). So far, opportunities of this type are scarce in Prague, but why not take matters into your own hands? Contact a company you’re interested in and explain how successful ‘gap year’ jobs are elsewhere.
Then offer to be their first guinea pig 🙂
Even if they turn you down you will be on their radar as a motivated, ‘go-getting’ person. This can only be a good thing.
Internships on the rise?
Employers are already facing challenges attracting and retaining talent. Perhaps this is because, for many companies, full-time contracts are still the preferred type of
employment. Incredibly, research by People Place has found there are only around 100 internship programs on offer in Prague.
However, if recruitment difficulties continue, employers will have no choice but to mine the ultimate untapped talent source: students. The market is already driving changes in employment styles to cater more for the needs of students. We will see even more opportunities in the future like ‘gap year’ jobs, traineeships, as well as short-term placements.
Global internship trends
Czech companies are actively looking at employment models elsewhere in the world. And these are the newest trends involving student engagement in the work force that they see:
- Externships – the extern spends a limited time in a work environment to learn from people in a particular field.
- Shadowing – similar to an externship but with more limited experience, the object being to get a feel for the job. The student only spends time with a professional in order to observe daily tasks and responsibilities. It’s a very passive experience.
- Career and Professional Development student work-learn programs – students have the chance to undergo ongoing trainings while being remunerated for their training hours.
- Cooperative education – full time work agreements with one employer with the purpose of learning and getting clearer career goals. It usually involves the active collaboration between students, university faculty and the employer. Students normally receive an academic credit for their experience.
Currently in the Czech Republic these types of working experiences are not commonly available. Even so, it is important that you assess your opportunities correctly and think about how you can get the most out of the job market even as a student.
Before you start bemoaning your lack of time, lack of motivation, or you’re thinking that in this market you will easily find a job after graduation, stop to reconsider. It’s not about getting any job, it’s about landing the BEST job for you. How will an internship or any type of working experience help you? Well, there are several benefits, particularly if you want to enter a very competitive sector.
As mentioned before, the job market in Prague is flourishing at the moment, with fresh opportunities every day.
In 2016, the Banking and Finance Sector was the most lucrative in terms of job opportunities, followed by HR Sector in second, the IT Sector third, and finally, Marketing and Sales (http://www.jobs.cz/poradna/6-nejzadanejsich-profesi-roku-2016/). If you are heading down one of these career paths, then you should be fine after graduation. However, if you have chosen a more niche sector, or a field that has little presence in the job market in the Czech Republic, you might need to work harder. Just to illustrate, of 12,355 job openings in Prague now (http://www.jobs.cz/prace/praha/), only 48 of them are in the Culture, Arts and Creative Work Sector.
So, if you are planning on becoming a book illustrator or a fashion designer, you might face some challenges. Doing an internship or part-time work in your chosen sector will significantly increase the likelihood of you landing your desired job. Your experience and contacts will place you at the top of any candidate shortlist.
Employers are always keen on working with individuals that have relevant experience in the field, as well as real exposure to a working environment. Individuals who have been exposed to achieving targets, respecting deadlines, sharing team workloads, and working under supervision will tick a lot of an employer’s boxes. More importantly, they will have learnt about corporate culture.
Whether you are interested in small or local Czech companies, or you’re aiming to join a big international corporation, your work experience will make you stand out. Employers will be more comfortable giving you responsibilities from the very beginning, and your starting salary will be potentially higher than your coworkers. You will have self-confidence right from the beginning, and there is no limit to your potential career growth.
Don’t be afraid to be proactive and actively search for what you want. Even if the particular company you’re aiming for does not offer internships, ask for the possibility of part-time work, a temporary placement, or even short term visits to the office. Any type of exposure will ultimately boost your competitiveness.
As they say, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”
In conclusion, let’s summarize the benefits of entering the workforce during your studies:
- more self-confidence
- potentially higher salary
- valuable industry knowledge
- development of professional skills
- a growing network of professional contacts
- high prospects of joining the company full time after graduation (https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-turn-an-internship-into-a-job-1986753),
It’s never too early to think about your future. Get ready to make the most of the opportunities that are presented to you, and start paving your career path right now!
Are you wondering how you can get the job of your dreams when you graduate? Send us an email, give us a call, or even pop into the People Place office for a coffee and a chat. We look forward to meeting you.
This post was written by Dijana Nikodinovska, is a University Graduate Linguistic, Career Coach and Talent Recruitment Consultant at People Place.
Dijana joined the Group in 2016 as a Recruitment Support Consultant, and has been successfully working her way up to her current position. Dijana is responsible for career coaching & consulting, recruitment strategies and talent delivery management . Working closely with managers across many disciplines within the employment market in the Czech Republic and Central Europe, ensuring recruitment quality delivery, client and candidate satisfaction are always at the highest standards.
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