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So you’ve been exploring different options around occupations. And you’re feeling pretty excited because you think you know what occupation you want to pursue. But how do you know what it’s really like to work in that type of job?  There are two options to get a little taster of an occupation:

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Work experience

This is where a business will allow you into its workplace for a short period (usually 1-5 days). You’ll get the opportunity to experience an occupation you want to know more about. You may shadow employees to see what they do in their occupation on a day to day basis. It’s likely you will be given some tasks to complete too. 


This is where you give your time freely to an organisation. Volunteer opportunities usually happen at a charity, which benefits society or a cause. You may have specific tasks to complete and may attend set hours or days per week/fortnight or each month.

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Benefits of work experience and volunteering

These roles are unpaid but there’s loads of benefits

You’ll learn about an occupation

  • Learn what the job involves on a day to day basis.
  • Figure out what sort of soft skills are required for the occupation. It could be teamwork, negotiation, adaptability, problem-solving, public speaking or listening skills.
  • Find out which hard skills are required. Such as typing speed, training certificates/degrees, a foreign language, ADOBE Photoshop etc.

It preps you for work life

  • Find out what employers and colleagues expect and demand in the work place
  • See what it’s like being in that type of work environment
  • Get a taste for work hours i.e. 9-5
  • Shows the diversity of employees in the workplace
  • Provides a networking opportunity to make new lifelong contacts in the work world

It’s great for personal development

  • Improves your confidence being in a new situation
  • Develops your interpersonal skills
  • Provides an opportunity to meet new people and make friends for life

It helps you make a career decision

  • Figure out if the occupation fits with your career goals
  • Assess how you can develop the knowledge and skills needed for the occupation
  • Allows you to connect what you learn at school with a workplace
Find Out More

Find out more

Work experience

If you would like to do work experience, see your school or college Career Practitioner or Work Experience Coordinator to find out what’s involved. Start the conversation early because there’s quite a lot of coordination involved and rules that must be met in getting your work experience placement approved and organised. So don’t be a last minute monkey! And give your school plenty of time to support you going on work experience.


To check out the many other ways that you can benefit your community, your school and your career by volunteering, visit the Volunteering Tasmania website.

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