Hello, angels! 💕 I've never had a job, or even an internship before and i have no idea what I'm doing. Do you have any advice for getting started? Where do you even look for jobs? Also should I hold off till the pandemic calms down or just start looking? I don't want to risk getting sick for money, but I'll never get started if i just keep waiting. Thank you in advance! I hope you're all keeping safe and feeling well 💞
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Hey, Jordan! Thank you for the work that you do1 You give really fine advice. And good luck to anonymous!
Thank you for reaching out to Asking Jude. This is a great question that will be able to help many people who are in the same boat as you!
Everyone has to start somewhere when it comes to jobs and careers. Even though it may look like everyone around you has the experience, many people are in the same position as you. Of course, many people have been working since they were 16, and that’s great too! It just differs from person to person. However, what matters is that you are feeling motivated to start thinking about jobs, internships, and career decisions now, which is wonderful.
As for some advice for getting started, I would recommend working on your resume and making it as impressive as possible before you start applying to jobs. Even though you don’t have any work experience, there are still many reputable things you can put on your resume to make you seem more prepared for a job setting to potential employers. I’m not sure how old you are from your question, but put down any completed education history (high school graduate, a college graduate with a degree, etc.), extracurricular activities, honors, and GPA from your highest level of schooling. Also make sure to put any volunteering experience if you have completed any, as well as any skills that make you seem competent enough to work at many places. Are you proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Photoshop, etc.? How many words you can type per minute? Do you have good interpersonal skills like working on a team or leading a group of people?
Once you have your resume finished, you can start thinking about what kind of jobs or experiences you would be best at. It’s very difficult to jump from never having a job right into a serious “career-oriented job,” like being an accountant or manager, which required prior experience. However, there are plenty of “starter” jobs that can be geared to your interests. Do you have a specific skill area you think you would thrive in? For example, if you are great at working on a team and multitasking, waitressing would be a great starter job. If you work well with children, you can try being a camp counselor or babysitting. If you have a talent in a specific area of study, you can try tutoring others in that area of study.
There are plenty of sites (many of which I have linked below!) that have been created to find people job opportunities. These work well for many people, but I find that one of the best ways to find opportunities is through your peers, as having connections is a great way to increase your chances of getting the first interview. I would suggest asking friends and family if they have any job opportunities at their workplace or if they know anyone who is hiring. I got many of my past work experiences through connections.
It is important to be patient and open to new opportunities. Sometimes a job offer will come in that includes a job description that is a bit out of your comfort zone. For example, if you can interview for a waitressing job, but are a bit shy, then perhaps this is a great time to improve your social skills. Don’t be discouraged if at first, you don’t get many offers or calls back. After all, we are in the middle of a pandemic towards the end of summer; many employers are already set with their team and won’t be looking again until the fall. That being said, my mentality is that it’s never too early to start looking. Even if you don’t get a job immediately because of the pandemic, you may be able to get a job lined up for whenever they need more staff members. If working during the pandemic is something that causes a lot of stress for you, or if you or your family are high-risk, it may be best to wait until you’re more comfortable in a workplace environment. Here are some resources that may help you in your job search:
Guide to Getting Your First Job: