The ceremony and celebrations are over and you are officially a high school graduate. If you know college is not the right thing for you at this time and you have taken some time to relax, there is only one thing left. It’s time to find a job. Today’s job market is difficult for anyone, but there are some things you should keep in mind as you start on this phase of your life.
First, tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job. Someone may make a connection between you and another person who is looking to hire someone. Your neighbor may have a relative who owns a new business. A friend may just happen to spot a help wanted sign or classified ad that you missed. You have heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” There is an element of truth to this cliché. Knowing the right person in the right place could make the difference between getting your foot in the door and being ignored. Use the internet and social media…but use it wisely. Many sites are great for networking and finding job opportunities. You can search companies and inform yourself on their culture and hiring practices. Most large companies only accept online applications. Just be careful with social media and the things you post. Employers can and do search the sites to find out about potential employees. Avoid posting pictures that can leave you looking like anything but a model employee. This includes pictures and comments about drinking, partying, and certainly anything illegal. Ask friends to avoid tagging you in any photos they post. Also avoid making negative remarks about former employers or anyone else that might make you seem like a difficult person.
Go Old School! Get out there and pound the pavement. Walk into places of business where you might want to work and ask to speak with a manager. Many places only accept online applications, but it can’t hurt to have a face associated with a name. Be sure to dress appropriately for the places you are going and try to avoid the busiest times of the business. For example, don’t ask a restaurant manager about job openings during the lunch rush. Look at the Big Picture! Some entry-level jobs may not seem like something wonderful; but look to see what opportunities may come from it. One growing corporate convenience store company offers competitive pay, savings opportunities, and tuition reimbursement to all of its employees. More importantly, they only promote from within the company. While making sandwiches may not seem like a dream job, prove yourself in the entry-level position and you may find yourself climbing the corporate ladder in no time.
It may take a while to find the right job. Be sure to stay positive and motivated. Your attitude will shine through.