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To think that work experience might actually entail some work?

(12 Posts)
wowfudge Sat 15-Feb-14 13:00:31

A work colleague was aghast that her student daughter in her early twenties who is doing work experience was working from home on the PC until 6pm. She had chosen to come home for the weekend to see her bf, so wasn't in the office a couple of hundred miles away.

I said that if she'd agreed to do the work experience and then had come home part way through it, but hadn't asked for the day as holiday, what was the problem with that? My colleague then said, 'But it's Valentine's Day and it's only work experience, she isn't even getting paid for it'.

Isn't that the point? I thought the daughter was showing she had a good work ethic - she is trying to get into a very competitive field and has never had any sort of part time job.

MothratheMighty Sat 15-Feb-14 13:03:06

Sounds like the daughter has a much better idea of what flexible working in the 21st century looks like than her mother. smile

olidusUrsus Sat 15-Feb-14 13:05:37

Work experience? As in the daughter is a child and doing it while at school? Or is it more like an internship where the daughter is a graduate and working for free or almost free to gain expertise and entry to a competitive field? If it's the former I agree with the daughter's mum. "Good work ethic" often translates to "mug" if you're working as a child, for free, in a large and competitive company.

wowfudge Sat 15-Feb-14 13:06:01

Mothra - that's what I thought! I also found the Valentine's Day comment odd; should I have asked my boss for the afternoon off as we had plans to go out for dinner? Or maybe just sloped off early?!

olidusUrsus Sat 15-Feb-14 13:06:27

Ah, just seen! Early 20s! Yep, with you all the way OP. The mum can take a hike.

wowfudge Sat 15-Feb-14 13:08:05

olidus - as I stated, the daughter is a student in her early twenties....I'm not sure of the details of the WE, but as she attends uni/college it's either outside her timetabled hours or during time set aside during the term for the students to do WE.

wowfudge Sat 15-Feb-14 13:08:46

X-posted olidus!

ItitwrongtofancyHarryStyles Sat 15-Feb-14 13:19:42

It concerns me that lots of parents/older adults that I know in real life are up in arms about youngsters doing work experience being 'overworked' or, in particular, doing unpaid work!

Fgs most industries are competitive and these kids need to show commitment and a willingness to learn as well as being personable and putting themselves forward.

I take on work experience people in my company and if there is hint of complaint or petulance I make a mental note never to employ them!

Conversely young people who have been helpful and hard working will stick in my mind and could lead to a job at some point.

wowfudge Sat 15-Feb-14 14:01:16

Isitwrong - not the first time this colleague has caused me to raise my eyebrows: apparently her daughter has never lifted a finger when at home and my colleague thinks she shouldn't ask her. For as long as I can remember me and my DSis had to help out at home - yes, as teenagers we stropped about some of it, but we always did our share as part of the family.

I once worked for someone who thought WE was really important...and then he paid his own kids to do bugger all WE in his own business, much to the annoyance of his employees.

ItitwrongtofancyHarryStyles Sat 15-Feb-14 15:29:52

Oh I know wowfudge. Also 90% of the time the young person's parents are the ones to email or phone me to make WE arrangements! I mean ok it's fine, courteous even, for the parent to make the initial enquiry (in my case it's fairly ad hoc and tends to be friends of friends asking for a favour) but after that all correspondence should be done buy the teen themselves. It is shock that a 17/18 year old won't or can't email me themselves. Ditto thank you emails or cards afterwards. It's ridiculous.

ItitwrongtofancyHarryStyles Sat 15-Feb-14 15:30:13

by not buy!

wowfudge Sat 15-Feb-14 16:15:09

I know! I got a Saturday job just as I turned 16 and I got it by myself - company contacted school and said they were recruiting. We then had to contact them to get an application form, etc. I wouldn't have dreamed of my parents doing that for me, in fact I would have been mortified if they had.

I don't get why some people have a problem with a school age child doing unpaid WE for a week or two - it's all about getting experience when you have none. I've supervised a number of young people doing work experience and the amount of effort that goes into setting up a WE programme and it was a lot of work for very little in return.

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