Giving school the flick?

nervous2Deciding to leave school at the end of Year 10 or 11 can be massively nerve-racking. And current rules mean that you must tick some boxes before you can step into the outside world.  Did you know that to leave school (in Victoria):

  • you must be 17, and have
  • completed Year 10?

Seems like a stupid rule, yes?

Why do they have this rule?

Because history (and statistics) tells us that your future ‘earning power’ is attached (like a piece of string) to your highest level of education. Which means that this stupid rule (being 17 and completing Year 10) will help to protect the future-you, keeping you above the poverty line.

Hmmm, maybe it's not such a stupid rule then!

Leaving is not just about ‘deciding’, there are important things to think about and do first.


When #iwanna-leave students come to my office, I ask them the following:

Plan? Do you have one?  What is it?
Told? Have you discussed your plan with your parents/guardians, Careers Advisor, and relevant teachers or coordinators?
Back-up? Do you have a backup plan? (Just in-case your first plan disintegrates!) What is it?
Documents? Resume: Is your resume current? Does it glow or stink? See definitions below.
Letter: Do you have a letter of application that can be adapted for future jobs?
Tax File Number: Do you have one? Or are you going to pay half your wages to Mr. Tax Man?
Exit Document: You and/or your parents may need to sign an exit document, that way your name is archived from our databases
Value Add:

Can you add value to your resume by completing more work experience?

Once you leave, you can’t use this great program anymore!



Not-all-first-time-jobs-work-out, so I encourage students to take a decent resume with them, just in case. Resume’s are a ‘living’ document, they grow and change as you do.

Stinky Resume

  • Stinky2A STINKY resume not only smells (probably of toast and coffee), it is hard to read, has loads of spelling mistakes, and does NOTHING for your image.
  • You may as well send toilet paper to the employer – at least it would be more useful!

Glowing Resume

  • checklistA GLOWING resume is one that ticks-all-the-right-boxes and is easy for an employer to find the stuff they want to know about you.
  • A quick read shows that you have what it takes to work for them.
  • You too can have a GLOWING resume if you watch and follow the rules in the toons at my Job Blog.

Work Experience

  • Employers LOVE reading about work experience on your resume, they can see what skills you have and what motivates you in the workplace.
  • Once you leave school, you also say goodbye to the work experience program – which is a shame, because it is the BEST-EVEREST way of trying careers to see if they FIT!
  • Therefore, be a USER USE the work experience program while you can!

Leaving Check-List

If you can check off the following list of things, you should be primed and ready to leave school:

Tick List
I am 100% sure I want to leave school.
I have a plan and a back-up plan for what I am doing.
I have completed enough work experience to make my resume stand out from the crowd
I have a GLOWING resume!
I have spoken to my parents/guardians about my plans.
I have spoken to my Careers Advisor at school
I have spoken to my Year Level Coordinator at school.
I have a Tax File Number.
I have a letter of application (for my back-up plan).
I understand that I will have to complete an exit form to archive my details from the school database.
Youth CentralYouth Central (opens in a new window) has some more info about leaving school early.
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