Coming out of education and into the real world can be jarring. Whether this is from high school or college doesn’t matter, either. The fact remains that the real world has far different expectations than the ones we grew up with. For one, your education won’t be as valuable today as it used to be. Companies now use your degree as a minimum requirement, and then go and ask for years of experience for even an underpaid starting position.
Today’s workforce needs to change their strategy in getting hired. That first job, after all, is in many ways indicative of your future. It is far easier to work within that industry you initially get into than it is to switch later on in life. It means that while getting your dream job doesn’t have to be your first step, getting into the right doors that allows you to work your way up to it will be.
To help you secure your first job and launch your career, you will want to follow these simple steps:
Audit Your Digital Presence
The first step to getting a new job is to ensure that when a potential employer googles your name, they only give the things you want them to see. It means going through and deleting old accounts, clearing up your social media feeds or making them private. If you need to, even consider changing your username so that they cannot find you easily. If you have a unique name, in particular, this will be particularly important. Having a common name like “Jane Doe” will likely result in far too many results for both you or your employer to search through, whereas having a unique name makes it all too easy to find the things you have posted and have written about in the past.
Enroll in a Greater Traineeship
The best way to get the real-life experience and skills that you need to not just thrive in the workplace, but also to demonstrate your ability is through a traineeship. This alternative is perfect for those who don’t currently have the experience nor have connections in companies in the field they want to work in. ARC, for example, is a training organization that will pay you so that you can earn money while you work in a host company, gaining the skills and experience as you go. Become one of their ARCies today, and you can join the many high school leavers who are looking for real-world experience and to secure their first job all at once.
Master Your Networking Abilities
Networking is key to finding a new job, and the best part is that your networking efforts will only continue to pay off if you are great at what you do. When you first start out, your networking options will often be through your family. Family members and family friends are your ticket into great companies. They can refer you and even recommend you for opening positions. By going through your family like this, you can get into difficult industries. This is, of course, nepotism, but the fact is if you have the option, you do need to take it. Industries like film, in particular, are notoriously difficult to get into without someone on the inside vouching for you. Once you are in, however, it is all up to you.
Of course, that is not the only way you can network. By interning and simply being friendly with people, you will find that there are a lot of ins you can work with. For example, you make friends with a manager at an internship. By keeping in contact with them, you can ask for them to let you know if there are any openings. You could even ask for a reference. This, in turn, will be just as powerful as any friend of the family helping you get your first job.
Be Open to The Position
You will also need to be open to the position. It is okay if you don’t immediately get on the right career path for your dream job. In fact, chances are you won’t get that starting position because it is the most obvious path and therefore very coveted by people just like you. Instead, be open to what you can get. So long as the job is in the same industry as the one you want to work in, you can find ways to move, both up and laterally, to the job you want. First, however, you need to get your foot in the door.
Getting that first job will be difficult but don’t stress too much about it. So long as you secure a position in the right industry and are willing to work your way up, you can achieve your dream.