According to a survey published in Senior Scholastic magazine, American high school seniors were asked to rate which life goals they considered “very important.” Eighty-four percent responded: “Being able to find steady work.” Another survey found that 5 out of 10 current concerns of young people related to jobs.

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How to find a job?

Worldwide inflation and limited demand for unskilled workers have made jobs hard to come by, especially if you are a youth. The Covid-19 pandemic has made things even worse as many businesses have either gone out of business, reduced their staff, or moved to operating solely on the internet.

Not being able to find a job easily can affect you emotionally, make you wonder about your self-worth. How, then, can you succeed in getting a job?

School — A Training Ground

An employment recruiter with many years of experience, offers this advice: “Get a good high school education. I cannot stress enough the importance of learning to read and write and speak properly. Learn proper decorum as well, so you can handle people in the working world.”

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Some may not have high aspirations – to be accepted into some famous university, etc. So, what difference does it make whether you’re good at the ‘basics’ if you’re only looking for a ‘simple’ job to pay the bills?

Think about this: Imagine a bus driver who is not able to read timetables for arrivals and departures!

If a factory worker doesn’t know how to fill out job-completion tickets or similar reports, how does the management know whether the products are ready to be shipped?

What if the salesclerk doesn’t understand the basic maths and the electronic till is not working?

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In almost every type of job, basic skills are needed, skills that you can master while in school. Since you’re already there, why not make the most of it? Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your whole youth – time that you can’t get back. Learning those basic skills later in life will be much harder and likely cost money.

Use your time at school wisely – not daydreaming but working hard to acquire necessary skills
Photo by Sean Kong on Unsplash

Be Persistent

“Never give up if you are out of school and looking for a job,” says the before mentioned recruiter, Mr Jones. “Do not go out on two or three interviews, then go home and sit and wait. You will never get called for a job that way.”

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Take young Sal as an example. She looked for a job for seven months before he was hired. “I would spend eight hours a day each weekday for seven months looking for a job. I would start early each morning and ‘work’ till four o’clock in the afternoon. The next morning, I would have to ‘psych myself up’ to start looking again” she explains.


Where to Find Jobs

Parents, teachers, employment agencies, personnel offices, friends, and neighbours are sources you can tap. (See “Do Networking” below.)

Try looking in the local WhatsApp or Facebook group help-wanted ads. These ads give clues as to what qualifications are needed for a certain job and can help you to explain to the employer why you can fill those needs.

Search Online

You can find vacant positions in your area on online job boards. There you can do a job search based on your skills and interests. You may also find job sites that allow you to create a profile and upload your CV (résumé) so that if any job that matches your interests comes up, you receive a notification.

It’s also worth regularly checking your favourite companies’ social media, as some employers also post jobs there. Make sure that your profile is professional if you wish to enquire more through these channels.

Do Networking

Various places may have job openings, but don’t post them online. To know of these opportunities, consider networking with adults and asking them to let you know if they hear of any opportunities. Someone referring you personally can give you an advantage over other candidates.

Be Prepared for An Interview

You may be called for an interview if your application turns out successful. A quick search on the internet will help you find out what type of question employers typically ask. Often, they want to know “why” you want to work for them. So do research on the company that shows your interest in them and helps you describe what you can offer them why they should hire you, basically. The “what’s-in-it-for-me” attitude will quickly turn off the interviewer’s interest in you.

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“Before going on a job interview, remember, first impressions are lasting impressions,” advises job counsellor Cleveland Jones. He warns against wearing jeans and sneakers (trainers) to an interview and stresses the need to be clean and neat. Employers often conclude that the way a person dresses is the way the person will work.

Dress smartly and modestly. Be honest. Know the company. Think about what you can offer them.
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko:

What if the employer asks you if you have had prior work experience? How should you answer? Do not bluff or lie. Employers often see through exaggeration. Be honest.

In fact, if you really think about it, it is likely that you have had prior work experience. Have you ever had a summer job? Have you ever done baby-sitting? Did you have an assignment at home caring for family chores? Have you ever had training in public speaking? All of these things could be mentioned at the interview or listed in your CV (résumé) to show that you can handle responsibility.

How To Keep Your Job

Sadly, when an economic downturn creates unemployment, youths are usually among the first to be fired. What can you do to improve your chances of keeping your job?

“People who retain jobs are people who are willing to work and who show a willing attitude to do whatever the employer asks,” says Mr. Jones.

Your attitude – how you feel about your job as well as the people you work for and work with – will be reflected in the quality of work you do. Your boss will judge your worth on the basis of not only how well you perform but also your attitude, whether you’re a team player, or not.

“Let your employer see that not only can you follow instructions but you can do more than what is required without constant supervision,” continues Jones. “Because in a tight labour market, the workers who remain are not necessarily those who have been there the longest, but those who produce.”

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Don’t Be Afraid!

If you are new on the job, it is easy to be a little afraid at first. You be might be asking yourself: ‘What if they don’t like me? Can I really do the job? Will they be happy with the quality of my work?’ Be careful though – your fears can easily nibble away at your positive outlook.

How can you speed up your adjustment and calm your nerves? Try to learn more about the company. Look, listen, and read. At the proper time ask your supervisor reasonable questions about your job and your performance​. It shows that you are taking your job, and reputation, seriously.

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Get Along with Your Colleagues

 All jobs ultimately involve having dealings with other people. It is therefore essential to know how to maintain good relations with others if you want to keep your job. You want to avoid needless bickering or heated confrontations on the job.

 We are all different. Do not think that someone is inferior because he is different to you because of his race, dialect, intellectual capacity, etc. Respect their right to be different. No one likes to be treated with disrespect. Everyone likes to feel wanted and needed. You can win the respect of your co-workers and employer by treating them the way you like to be treated – with respect.

Be punctual

Some of the main reasons why people lose their jobs are 1) being late for work and 2) missing days from work. An employment and training director for a large industrial city said about young workers: “They need to learn to get up in the morning, to learn how to take orders. If they never learn these things” it just makes it harder for them to keep their jobs, and harder for you, and other youths, to find a job.

Sal, mentioned earlier, lost her first job after just three months because of tardiness. “This made it more difficult to find other jobs”, she said.


Try not to be late for work!
Photo by Khadeeja Yasser on Unsplash

Is Honesty Really The “Best Policy”?

Employment recruiter Mr Jones says: “Honesty will help a person keep the job.”

Being honest includes not only the stealing of stuff but also the stealing of time by taking excessive breaks. An honest employee is always valued and trusted. Many have been able to keep their jobs during lay-offs because of their reputation of being honest and hard working.

The Conclusion:

Applying for, and getting, a job is a challenge that you can meet successfully. So…

Work hard at finding a job. Be persistent. Do not give up. And when you eventually find the job you wanted – work really hard to keep it!

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