When you're starting out, don't focus on the job and the pay. Focus on learning new skills and adding value to the work you do, whateve the work is. Here a way to get started.
1. Determine an area you would like to work in and scenario is that you don't know anyone in that area nor the companies.
2. Join LinkedIn.
3. Search for careers, companies and individuals in your desired area.
4. Connect with them on LinkedIn. (Not everyone will connect with you, so don't feel rejected).
5. Put together a list of questions for an individual you want to talk with. Questions can include:
a. How did you get started in your career?
b. What do you like best about your job?
c. What do you like least?
d. What advice would you give to your 15 year, 18 year old self? (use your age in asking this question)
e. If you were looking an entry level position or an intern position in your area, how would you go about it?
f. Do you know of companies or organizations that help people my age to get started?
Send them the questions upfront and ask to speak to them for 15-20 minutes (and keep to that time if they accept), going over the questions. These are called "informational interviews'". Make notes as you talk. Ask them if there is anyone else, they recommend you talk to.
Tell them upfront in the conversation you are not looking for them to get you a job or refer you to a job. This is strictly to learn their area (and make sure you keep your word on it)
After the meeting, make sure you complete your notes (put them in a spreadsheet). This done for a couple of reasons 1) if you don't make the notes right away, you will forget what is said or even worse you will attribute what was said to someone else you interviewed. 2) you best remember the points immediately following the conversations so you get more from the conversation. 3) Make note of any actions and follow up on them in 24 hours. If they said to reach out to someone, do so in the next day.
Send them a follow up thank you and note any specific advice or contacts that you found helpful.
Note: People are very willing to give advice and help. Showing you appreciated their time, and their advice is a good practice and shows the type person you are (your character). If the advice turns into something concrete down the road, be sure to tell them.
Set up as many meetings as you find valuable. In this process, you make find someone that can be a mentor, one of the best things you can do in life.
You will likely find they will recommend you to someone else and that person will have some contacts and so on and down the road it turns into a job opportunity. There is a compounding effect that occurs.
Now, many people have a very hard time being consistent. They set up a few meetings, have a few conversations, don't get a job and give up. Your success depends totally on you and the more consistent you are in doing the good things that help you, the more successful you will be.
Typically, the ideal starting age for work is around 16, but it's generally recommended to start at 18. However, the suitable age can vary depending on the type of job you're interested in, as not all roles are appropriate for younger individuals. If you could provide some information about your specific interests or the field you're considering, I'd be more than happy to offer some guidance. Remember, every step you take towards your career path is a step towards success. Keep exploring your options and don't hesitate to ask for advice.
James Constantine Frangos
James Constantine’s Answer
Relationships with influential individuals can be a game-changer! They don't necessarily have to be the heads of banks, stock markets, or breweries, although such connections could undoubtedly be beneficial. Let me share a story from my father's life. Around 1959, he was in the early stages of building his business when his father passed away. He had a conversation with a man who held significant positions - he was the chairman of the Commonwealth Bank, a board member of the Bundaberg Sugar company, and also involved in a brewery here in Australia. This man saw my father and uncle and recognized them as "two honest Greek boys..."
He granted my father and Uncle Mike the statewide distribution rights for Bundaberg rum, along with a substantial bank loan. The lesson here is to connect with influential people, share your dreams and ambitions with them. It could be anyone, even the manager of your local McDonald's. There are plenty of local business owners in Lincoln, Nebraska, which you can easily find with a simple Google search.
Consider devising a strategic plan or a business blueprint to reach your objectives. If there's a financial goal you're aiming for, remember, the money is out there - you just need to figure out how to tap into it! It might be helpful to seek advice from the mayor of Lincoln, Alabama, or their secretary. Inquire about local businesses and their managers.
Try to get introductions to key individuals who have the power to employ or let go of staff. Let them know that you're just starting, you're trustworthy, and you're ready to volunteer to gain work experience. You've got what it takes! Also, make sure to educate yourself about entrepreneurship.