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Should you accept working for free to land your first job?

UK Graduates

Graduate Career Coaching

Last month, Adecco UK published a survey revealing that half of grads would work for free “in a bid to get on the jobs ladder”. Lack of work experience is holding young back from getting their first job, says the report. Should you accept working for free if you have no work experience?

Check out the “Should I work for free?” chart. Well, as you may see, working for free may be acceptable in very rare situations. Still doubting?


All joking aside, there are some other reasons that can hinder your jobsearch: your lack of jobsearch experience and difficult situation on the job market. Here are some tips on how to cope with both of them.

For the first point, plan and prepare your applications and interviews. In fact, the above report mentions that 1 of ten young jobseekers admitted that they didn't get the job because of “being late for a job interview, or not being properly dressed”. Don't get into the same trap! 

Secondly, the bad situation on the market is over. The UK companies are expecting to hire more graduates in 2014! So, there's no more reason to be pessimistic.  All you have to do is to put all the chances on your side. Keep on searching, send applications, prepare your interviews and you will definetely land your first job, a paid job!

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