How To Get Your Foot In The Door At Work

By: Gabriel Adams

It can be so frustrating to hear "you don't have enough experience for the job" when you're only 17. Sometimes employers seem to want it all their way; they want to pay minimum wage to the youngest candidate possible but they want that candidate to be experienced. It's a vicious cycle and represents very unrealistic expectations on the part of employers. You can, however, give yourself an edge over other applicants for jobs you'd like to apply for. Even while you're still at school, you can do things that will help you to be more experienced than others, and give you that vital advantage.

Volunteering
Whether you peel vegetables at a soup kitchen, show visitors around a hospital, read stories to ill children or give up your time to wash cars for charity, volunteering gives you a skills base to boast about. Even if the skills you acquire have nothing to do with the job you want, your reliability, punctuality, dedication and initiative will be on record for prospective employers to see.

Work experience
Make up a resume, even if it mentions more about school activities than any real job you've held and submit it to workplaces where you'd like to work. Offering to do work experience is a great opportunity for you to develop skills, make contacts in the industry and obtain a reference advertising your abilities.

Family jobs
Turning up for work, even if it's in your parents' grocery store is good experience for a job outside of the family environment. Stacking shelves instead of lounging around in front of the TV sounds far better to an employer when you go for an interview.

Don't be fussy
Take a burger-flipping job, be the photocopier queen, shine shoes ... do whatever it takes to develop a work ethic and to have something to show for your time. Employers love kids with initiative and who seem willing to work.

Don't allow your youth and inexperience to put you behind the eight ball for a fulfilling and successful career. Make it happen.

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