Did You Know?
If you graduate from high school you will make, on average, 40% more than a person who doesn’t.*
That means that after graduating, you could get $14 an hour instead of $10.
What do you like to do? What are you good at?
Why does this matter?
If you know what kind of job you want, you can start getting the skills you need to get hired. Of all the great jobs in the world, what are you most interested in? Can you think of any places you could volunteer to learn more about that job?
How do my personal values connect to my career goals?
Your personal values, such as your religious views, your belief in making the world a better place, your desire for achievement or independence are important. For example, if you believe people deserve a second chance in life, maybe you’d like a job helping others get their lives back on track.
What do I want my job to give me?
Find a job that offers what you are interested in. You probably have many interests. If so, you may have to choose which is most important. What do you want from a job?
- Change and improvement
- Chance to meet and learn about different people
- Honesty and having people trust me
- Paying attention to very small details
- Looking at the big picture
- Independence, creativity and finding new ways to do things
- Influencing others
- Helping and caring for other people
- Working with my hands
- Building things
Why does work experience matter?
Things you enjoy doing now could turn into a career. So if you have an opportunity to try something out by volunteering, working part-time, or participating in an internship, take advantage of it. You won’t know whether you like something until you try it.
Every job counts! Any job — volunteer, school aide, or flipping burgers — shows employers that you have ambition and want to be responsible. Come to work on time, treat others with respect, and do the job well so you can get a letter of recommendation from your boss.
How do I get hired?
Make a good impression when you go for an interview.
- Dress well. You may not have to dress up to do the work but you do need to dress your best when you go for an interview.
- Fill out paperwork carefully and so it can be read.
- Turn your cellphone off. You need to pay attention and avoid interruptions.
- Show that you really want the job. Be interested, sit up straight, and ask questions.
- Show your enthusiasm! Tell them why you like this kind of work and why you can do it.
- Say “Thank you!” and send the interviewer a thank-you email afterwards — spelled correctly.
Social media has become the most used method of communication among youths. However, when it comes to job hunting, it is important to keep in mind that potential employers can find your social media profiles. Be mindful of what you post and how you present yourself. Often, privacy settings do not block content as well as you might want them to. Even if your profiles are private, some pages can still show up and prevent you from getting or keeping a job.
What are my next steps?
Find out about yourself.
- What are the things that you like to do? What are you best at? Do you have any special skills that you could build on to become a career?
Search the web.
- Websites have jobs listed by skills as well as title. Post your resume so employers can find you. You can also find volunteer opportunities and internships that give you the chance to get experience. But, beware of jobs that ask you to buy products or pay a fee to get the job!
Visit a business.
- In-person visits to businesses you’d like to work for can give you information about what employers want. It can also let them get to know you, and could lead to a job or internship. If you do visit a business, act as if it is an interview. Dress and speak well, and thank them for their time.
Find out if you can become an apprentice in a job you like.
- ApprenticeshipUSA and other programs sponsored by the government, by businesses or by labor groups give you a chance to earn a salary while learning how to do a job. You can find many of these on the internet or by talking with someone in the field you want to work in.
Ask other people.
- Talk to friends and family. They may know someone who could give you a job.
- Meet with your worker about Summer Programs you might be interested in.
- Meet your guidance counselor. He or she can help point you to people who want to hire students and young people.