Keen to get your first job and start earning money? Here’s what you need to know…
Getting your first job is a big step. It teaches you responsibility and can help you feel more confident. Plus, of course, there’s the money! There’s lots to consider about a job – the hours, the pay, how it will fit in around your school or college work… and what skills and training you’ll need to do the job well.
What Age Can I Start Work?
You can legally work part-time from the age of 13 in the UK. Children younger than 13 who work in acting, theatre or modelling can work, but they need to apply for a special performance licence.
Once you’re 16, the rules are a little different, depending on where you live. If you live in England, you must be in part-time education or training until you’re 18. In Scotland, however, you can then work full-time. Full-time is a maximum of 40 hours per week.
How To Get A Job
There are lots of ways to look for a job. You can check your local newspaper, use job websites such as Indeed or keep an eye on local shop windows for vacancy advertisements. You may also hear about a potential job through word of mouth.
When you start your job search, you’ll need to have a CV. A CV is a short summary of your grades, skills and achievements to give potential employers an idea of how suitable you are for a job. Many employers will ask for a CV rather than an application form but some will ask for both. You can get help to create a CV here.
Another way to look for a job is to arm yourself with copies of your CV and head into town. Locate local businesses and establishments you’d like to work with, give them your CV and ask to be considered if a vacancy arises. If you want to do this, make sure to look presentable and be polite and courteous. First impressions can make a big difference.
Most jobs will require an interview. This gives the employer a chance to ask some questions to get to know you better and to ask more about your skills and experience. Interviews can be daunting, no matter how old you are, but we have some top tips to help you:
- Preparation is key! Make sure you have a printed copy of your own CV to take with you on the day. Plan what you’ll be wearing in advance and have it all laid out the night before. Deciding what to wear can be tricky but it’s always a good idea to be neat and professional.
You could also think about the type of questions you might be asked at your interview and make notes. Think about times you’ve made a difference, or occasions when you’ve risen to a challenge or exceeded expectations.
- Arrive promptly for your interview. You don’t want to run the risk of running late and arriving flushed and harassed.
- Greet your employer with a smile and make eye contact when they’re talking to you. Don’t be afraid to pause to give yourself time before answering questions – a few seconds can be enough to collect your thoughts and calm your nerves.
- Be kind to yourself. If you stumble over an answer or can’t think of a thing to say, it’s perfectly fine to ask the interviewer if you can come back to that question later. This will give you time to think and allows the interview to continue.
After The Interview
Hopefully, you will have been successful in getting the job and, if so, YAY! If you have a knock-back, try not to beat yourself up. Being rejected can feel hurtful and disappointing, but the right job for you will be out there somewhere. Most of us will have to deal with several job rejections throughout life and it can be tough. Give yourself time to heal, move on and start your search again. You’ve got this!