It’s a work out: Getting your first job

I have officially lost count of how many complaints I’ve heard about not having a job. I was extremely lucky. I got a job at the first place I applied for: Image Shots at West Oaks, and I was only 16. As someone who has been hired and hired others before, I understand it’s a struggle getting a job when you’re under 18, especially for the first time, but there are some untraditional tricks you can follow that can increase your chances of your job.

How did I do it? I had a connection (one of Art teacher Lisa Canorro’s students) and because West Oaks was a relatively small, unpopular place. If I were to start with, say, the Picture People at Memorial, I would have been rejected on the spot. People aim for places that are too well-known, places that usually need experienced workers, when they should start off small.

It also helps to have a simple but adequate resume that states your contact info, leadership and responsibility skills, knowledge of any particular computer programs (i.e. Photoshop), experience, honors and awards (ones that actually relate to the job you’re applying for; don’t put a record of how many hot dogs you can eat in under three minutes), and what you can bring to the job. Make it a point to be interested in the place that you’re applying for, ask questions and compliment certain things you like; it shows that you are observing and not just answering questions. Also, apply to places where you can turn in an application in person. That way, you can meet whoever’s in charge; if they feel comfortable talking to you for the first time, you have a better chance of being hired.

Apply to places in the food and retail industry, because they need a lot of people, which means more hours. In the long run, this can lead to a raise or even a promotion. If you get an interview, make jokes, be confident, and tell them exactly what you can do, not what you kind of know. You may not make all the requirements, but you may be the most qualified out of all the applicants.

Having a job is challenging, but it does bear great fruit. Trying to balance a job and the workload at Kerr is not easy, and there will be many long nights, but the money you make is hard-earned money. You will learn to spend and save money responsibly, and you will get valuable real-world experience.