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My Dream Placement and Why You Need To Leave Your Comfort Zone

I’m incredibly guilty of trying to stay within my comfort zone- especially with the lack of face-to-face contact that the pandemic has brought along with it. Dream Placement however, offered the perfect opportunity to break out of my pattern of behaviour, even if I didn’t realise it at first.

When I first saw the email from our Head of Year advertising Dream Placement 2021, I was intrigued at the prospect, but unsure of what to do- I had tried applying for summer placements before with little success, and had some prior experience with applying for work experience placements through school before, though the placement week didn’t end up being particularly inspiring or useful for me. The more I considered this second chance, the more I wondered whether this would be different- though it was clearly an event that would normally be completely out of my comfort zone, and would require a lot of confidence in myself.

Dream Placement was advertised to us as a brilliant chance to try something new, although the selling point for me was a single sentence- “these are not just scientific or technical placements”. Previously, my attempts to find work experience had fell short, as nothing had jumped out at me or drawn me in- this was my chance to find something well suited to me and my creative taste.

I filled out an application- discussing my skills, my desires, my dreams- a whole host of pretty personal dreams and goals that I would have never imagined sharing otherwise. Following this, we took part in the Dream Placement development events- 4 Zoom based events every Thursday in November. As a group, we developed confidence and adapted to the new experience of distanced gatherings (especially as the Dream Placement events in previous years had been held in person), meeting companies based in Cumbria from our own homes, speaking to a wide variety of people who had followed different pathways and considering which values composed a good leader.

Following the development sessions, some of us were lucky enough to move to the interview round based off of our initial applications- a day of catching up with our host companies, and working through business skills discussions. In the afternoon we had 10-minute interviews with 2 companies- who had been paired with us based on our skills, accolades and interests- a great experience into how a job interview may be conducted, and the wide and weird range of questions that you may be asked.

I was lucky enough to secure myself a placement with Soundwave- a company that I hadn’t initially known much about, but that I had followed and researched and learned about in the process of applying for Dream Placement. The events allowed me to hear about many companies that I had never heard about before- I was introduced to a whole new world of possibilities that had never even occurred to me, and had never fallen on my radar- and just in Cumbria too! Applying for Dream Placement opened my mind to what lies past school life and where I may go in the future- opportunities and skills that had never even crossed my mind.

Now, I am beginning my placement and loving the idea of what is to come. My placement is tailored to my interests and my own personal development- not only have I received a work experience placement; I have learned about myself as a person. I’m aware of my strengths and weaknesses and how I can apply my skills to my life, and most importantly my future.

The whole experience has allowed me to push myself well outside of my comfort zone- if I hadn’t applied for Dream Placement, I know that my confidence and communication skills would not be anywhere close to the level they are at now. My entire perspective on future careers and pathways has been broadened and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.

Interested in Dream Placement? Head over to their website for more information.

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