Searching for a job isn’t easy, and hopefully no one will ever say it will be. Believe me, from personal experience it isn’t easy at all. You tend to get your hopes up that you can walk into the easiest of jobs and you can get paid a lot for quite frankly doing very little and sitting on your ass all day. “No, ” I hear you say? Oh well, it must be lazy little me then. I was hoping I could find a job that would fund my clothes and CD addiction. I’ve had a bad experience with my previous job but even the money couldn’t keep me there. Last year I was working in a pub/restaurant. There seemed so many meals and I had to learn all about them in case someone asked me questions. It doesn’t sound stressful and I know it sounds rather silly. It was on my first day I met my work enemy too, the touch screen till. Instead of the old fashioned tills, it was a computer thing, too high tech for me. But do you know what? It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with the job, it was that it was my first proper job, where I get my own little pay slip and everything. So of course, because it was a new world to me, one where I couldn’t tug on my Mom’s apron strings any longer, I found the situation rather intimidating. I’m quite a shy person anyway as it is, suddenly it was like a rabbit being thrown into a lions den, surely I didn’t stand a chance. It was an overreaction though and soon I settled in. In my experience, when you do find a job the best thing to do is to keep your head down. No-one is saying you can’t talk to your colleagues, because at the end of the day communication is vital to provide a good service to your potential customers. It may be scary, nerve wracking and you may dread your first day like I did. It happens with a lot of things in life, driving for example. The first time is hard, you think it can’t get any easier but it will. This logic can be applied to both starting a job (new place, new people) and job hunting (you think you won’t find anything but you will).
So, you’ve decided you want a job, whether it be part or full time, the “rules”, well my guidelines pretty much apply for both.
- Make sure that you apply for a job, whether it be full or part time, that you know you will enjoy. There’s no point doing a job you don’t like or that you do not find fulfilling.
- Try to find a job that suits you and your interests. It would be silly and a waste of time to get a job in a shoe shop if you aren’t keen on feet (thinking of myself there and I shudder at the thought of working with feet) or working in a florists if you are allergic to pollen.
- Be aware of the working hours. If you are at school/college/university and the job is only part time you can’t let it affect your lessons/your courses/your degrees or to some extent your social life. Look for a job which has hours that are realistic for you and that you can handle.
- Don’t forget that when looking for a job, at least try and find one in your area or perhaps only a bus ride away. There’s nothing worse than having only a four hour shift when it takes two hours to get there.
- Try to find out the rate of pay/wages you should be expecting if you start the job. You will usually find this out in an interview. If you are giving up your time, while the experience is valuable the money you get does still have to be decent.
- Keep your options open. Don’t apply for the first job you find, keep your options open. Have a look around and when you do find a number of jobs that are suitable for you try and find out more.
As for interviews, they can make or break a job application. There are a number things that you need to remember if you do reach that stage.
- Interviewers are not trying to trip you up. They are looking to see why you are suitable for the job and why they should hire you instead of the person before you.
- Feel fairly confident but don’t be arrogant about an interview. You must have impressed them for them to have offered you an interview, so far you have done fairly well. In a way an interview is the time when you can sell yourself, but the interviewer will most likely see through some things. Don’t exaggerate your achievements or in other words claim to be something you are not. It will only backfire on you in the end.
- It always goes without saying that you should be punctual and well dressed for your interview. This is the last chance you will get and it will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.
Finally, never give up looking, keep your eyes open for vacancies. Always have a copy of your resume with you when you go out shopping, you never know. Even if there isn’t a vacancy notice in the window of a shop you could always go and ask inside. Get your resumes spread around, then when an opportunity does arise the company has you on their books so to speak.
Good luck job hunters!