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Career advice for young people

Are you dreading joining the workforce? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Most young people, whether they have studied higher degrees, gone into vocational training, or are simply just finishing school, are unsure about how to enter into the workforce. If you are just starting out, or have just found a job, here is some advice to help you navigate the new terrain.

Try a few things out

People who have just finished school usually do not know what they want to be, or do. This is to be expected. It is a rare trait to know exactly what career path you want to take in your life. At this point, there is no reason to not try a few things out to see what suits you. Try working in a few different industries and with different people to gauge your interests and see what works best.

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In many industries, it is all about who you know. Do you have a favourite teacher in school? Is this person approachable enough to ask for career advice, or for the number of their friend who works at your dream job? Reach out to friends and family to help you gain experience. Even volunteering for work experience can help you meet a range of different people and get your foot in the door to somewhere you might like to be permanently.

Beware social media

Many recruiters now look at social media pages to get a sense of their applicants. If you have numerous posts that veer towards an unprofessional lifestyle, they might think twice about hiring you. Let’s be honest, most people like to have fun every now and then, but an employer wants to know that you can also be professional in a work environment. Think twice about what you post online, and consider changing your privacy settings.

Get trained

What have you always wanted to do? Is there a specific skill that you would like to learn? Does the industry you are thinking about require certain qualifications? Consider taking a training course to learn something new. Many training courses can help you enter a new industry and even give you credit towards a tertiary degree. Organisations such as Careers Australia offer a range of training courses. Even if you are unsure of the career path you’d like to take, entering a training course can help you decide.

Learn about yourself

What do you like to do in your spare time? What are your best and worst personality traits? If you do not know the answer to these questions, think about them. Go about your regular day really paying attention to why you do things and what motivates you. By answering these questions you can better understand the type of environment you are suited to and what type of activities are stimulating. Gauge your job search around these parameters and see what you come up with.

What makes you most fearful about entering the workforce? Have you recently started in a new full-time position? Post your comments below.

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