This information is targetted at Secondary School students, in particular, 15+ years old
You may have heard that the unemployment rate for young people is a little on the high side (20% is the latest figure—or 1 out of 5).
I don’t know about you, but pointing out negative stuff all the time is downright depressing!
Yes, on average, 20% of young people in Australia are unemployed (and keep your chin up if that is you), BUT it also means that 80% ARE employed. Yay!
That’s what I like to hear, a little bit of positivity!
Have you wondered, what, if anything, the 80% of young people are doing differently to the 20%?
I am not an expert in these matters (well, maybe I am) but here are some ideas that I believe will create, for you, a significant impact on your future employment prospects:
The current EMPLOYED 80% MAY have:
- taken advantage of the Work Experience program (as soon as they turned 15) at their school, doing as many weeks as possible to bolster their skills, resume and business networks. (You too can easily do this).
- asked their work experience boss if there were any jobs coming up soon, or if they knew of one elsewhere. (Such a powerful question!)
- held a part-time job while at school – OR have community or volunteering experiences under their belt—(there are ample opportunities to become involved in community projects at school).
- procured a couple of great referees or written references. (Possibly from point 1 or 3 above).
- learned to ‘disconnect’ from their online world while on a job; leaving their mobile device aside and only checking it during breaks. (Then the boss doesn’t have an excuse to make them a 20% member!)
- shown enthusiasm at work (experience); no matter how much they dislike/d (reasonable) tasks given to them. (Enthusiasm has a way of being noticed and rewarded. Enthusiastic people are often: quickly promoted, or poached by other businesses!)
- created a calm (or maybe an amusing) online ‘brand’; ie. their Facebook page is NOT a cesspool of drunkenness and bad language. (IT savvy employers are right onto this. Either ramp-up the security levels on your FB account or delete it, and start over. Keep it clean-cut and something that your grandma would be proud of.)
- shown that they can get to work on time and rarely take a sickie—(this skill is called ’reliability’ and is a quality highly sought after by employers).
- told their boss (frequently) that they enjoy the job. (It is interesting to me, that employers don’t mind employing shy people, so long as that shy person likes what they are doing. The best way for the boss to know if you like your job is to TELL them—shyness will dissolve once you are familiar with the job/role!)
- developed the skills to quiz anybody and everybody they talk to about their job, and also if they know of any job openings. (To get better at this, just keep doing it!)
There is, of course, an element of luck involved in securing a job. Being in the right place at the right time, or knowing somebody, who knows somebody else, etc.
Waiting for ‘luck’ to come to you is not a great tactic.
HOWEVER, if you keep placing yourself into situations where you are increasing your networks—you are, by extension, creating ‘luck’.
The more times you ’get out there’, the greater your chance of success.
If you have a job interview coming up, ask your school’s careers advisor to conduct a mock interview with you—practice, like bike riding—makes perfect!