Head start to career

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Published in The Advertiser’s CareerOne page 24, 30.4.11

Young workers who rely on their after-school job for extra cash can use the experience to kickstart their career skills, a workforce advisor says.

Workforce BluePrint, Head Workforce Planner Wendy Perry and daughter Jessica, 15, have developed a plan to help teenagers make their first job a success:

Consider your approach.  Listen carefully to directions and instructions.  Be friendly and outgoing, greet your customers cheerfully with a bank of five open ended questions to ask them such as: How are you going with your Christmas shopping?, Got plans for New Year’s? and Taking a break over Easter?

Have a good attitude.  Demonstrate you are willing to learn.  Show an interest in extra training and do the necessary or boring jobs like cleaning and sweeping.  Ask about or offer to learn how to do the advanced jobs such as counting the tills, lay-by and ordering, training new people and later on, supervising staff.

Be available.  Let the employer know if you are available for additional shifts particularly over the school holidays, Christmas and New Year period.  Keep your contact details up to date and think about how you could get to work without much notice if called in urgently.  Helping the employer and co-workers shows flexibility and commitment.

Consider practicalities.  Allow enough time to get home from school, have a quick healthy snack and drink, brush your teeth and get to work 15 minutes beforehand.  In breaks, sit down, rest your feet and have something to eat and drink.

Socialise Go to work social events and see work as a way to make friends.

Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner and Jessica Perry (15 years)

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