Unpaid Work Experiences

In by Paige Haberkorn

What are unpaid work experiences?

Hands-on, unpaid work and volunteer experiences on a job. You learn job skills, employer expectations, and personal interests and preferences. Ideally, unpaid work experiences…

  • Help you to learn about yourself.
  • Help you to explore jobs to see if they are a good fit.
  • Are in school or in the community.
  • Provide job shadowing, volunteer work, internship, and apprenticeship opportunities.
  • Identify work environments that meet your strengths, needs, and goals.
  • Collect information that can be used by your teacher in the classroom. This can help you learn work skills.
  • Prepare you for daily work responsibilities on the job.
  • Provide you with supports on the job, such as a job coach and technology.
  • Are written into your IEP goals.

Unpaid work experiences result in…

  • School, community, agency, and business partnership.
  • Matching your strengths, interests, and needs to career goals.
  • Real-life job experiences.
  • Skills to work, such as specific job skills, how to be responsible on the job, and how to get along with others.