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How do I get a job to start with

I have no work experience no job skills and in have a fear of the unknown about work

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Subject: Career question for you

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Thomas’s Answer

When I was looking for my first job I remember going to retail stores and restaurants. They were more than willing to hire someone with limited experience, and help me get some on the job training. I was in high school so they were also willing to work with my schedule. I worked for a few places in high school, remember to always be honest in the interview and understand that it may take a lot of applications but eventually you will land a job that will be reasonable.

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Kim’s Answer

In addition to the great advice you have already received, I want to recommend you don't talk negatively about yourself to yourself! You DO have something to offer potential employers - it may not be experience, but it is attitude, dependability, eagerness to learn, etc. Dependability can be shown with school attendance records - any perfect attendance awards? Commitment - team activities, group projects. Customer service/money handling - have you ever worked a carwash, done fundraising, worked the soda booth at a game, etc? Granted, it's not a lot. Run with what you have! Enthusiasm is important. When you walk into an interview, stand tall, head up, shake hands, make eye contact.. Be confident! Yes, you are going to be nervous. Your palms will sweat. You will stutter, your mind might go blank, etc. But, we all did that! Including the person who is interviewing you!


Be prepared for basic questions. What hours are you available? Transportation? And, oops . . . "why should I hire you?" Hint: The answer is not "Because I need a job."


Don't memorize your answers, or they will sound fake. But, you should rehearse a little. The thing about business, which, most adults fail to grasp, is that the purpose of business is to Make Money! So you want to focus on things that show you are interested in helping the employer make or save money. Good customer service, safety (wet floor signs if you are mopping, clean up spills right away, etc), Not wasting product - if you work in fast food, you don't want to prepare too many french fries and then have to throw them away), Regulatory compliance - health inspectors can fine the company. The same for selling alcohol to minors. These sort of points will help to show that The Reason They should hire you is because you are dependable and you will do your best to help the company to be successful!


good luck!!!

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Lara’s Answer

Hey Michael, we've all been there. Ironically getting your first job is the most difficult, event hough you are probably highly motivated and straight out of school/still in school. It gets easier with more experience so that is something to look forward to.

First you should be realistic about your skills and apply for entry-level jobs, rather than aiming too high too soon. Your first job does not have to be the perfect job for you. It's a way to get the foot in the door, learn the skills and prove yourself to future employers.

If you have nothing on your resume in terms of relevant professional experience, highlight all else. Volunteer work and extracurricular activities or sports (if you play basketball you're a natural team player!). Showcase your potential rather than your experience.

Network rather than anonymously applying to jobs, i.e. ask your friends if they have openings at their jobs they could recommend you to. Ask you parents to ask around in their circle of friends. If you can, attend networking events for young professionals or graduates.

Concerning your fear of the unknown: it's normal. But don't let it overwhelm you because soon you will have your first day at your new jobs and a few weeks later you will not even remember what you were afraid of. :)

Good luck!

Thank you comment icon Thank you this helped a lot. Michael
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Ashley’s Answer

I would like to add as well. When I first started, I too looked for a job at a restaurant or retail store, in fact two of my jobs in my teenage years consisted of these. It was at the restaurant that I learned some of the skills I use today in my career. One being customer service and the other is communication skills. Through my ability to converse with the patrons at my table, I received two different offers to interview with companies. They appreciated the skills they saw through the short time I was at the table and were interested in learning more about my experience. At the time, I had only had one other job (in retail), and I was able to get a position within one of the companies as a receptionist.


I believe there is great opportunity in starting out in one of these fields but don't be afraid to reach out for other entry level positions. By showcasing your skills, qualities and volunteer work employers are able to see whether or not you'd be a great fit for the position. The goods news is, we've all been there and the best way to get to know what you'd enjoy is by starting with something of interest and growing from there.


I hope that helps!

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