Deciding 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 #i–wanna-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|
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.
- A 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!
- A 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.
- 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!
If you can check off the following list of things, you should be primed and ready to leave school:
|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 Central (opens in a new window) has some more info about leaving school early.