Top Tips for school leavers looking for work

Feeling anxious about finishing school and heading out into the “big wide world”? You’re not alone! At school we have familiar faces, surroundings and routines that give us that warm, fuzzy, safe feeling – so it’s only natural. What will I do next? Will I make new friends? What job is right for me? They’re questions we’ve all asked ourselves before, and it’s enough to make your head spin!

Rest assured, there are so many great resources and supports available to assist school leavers looking for work, or anyone embarking on a journey towards employment for the first time.

Job Centre Australia Central Coast NSW candidate, 23-year-old Natalia, is a shining example of what can be achieved after leaving school. JCAL supported Natalia through our NDIS Youth program to gain vital workplace skills, and secure various work placement opportunities that matched her interests and passions.

Natalia says: “My confidence has grown to the point where I can be independent and do work placements by myself. This is a huge step from when I first started, and I’m really proud of how far I’ve come. From attending JCAL workshops, I had developed my employment skills but just needed to build my confidence in the workplace.”

With Natalia’s growing confidence and skillset, along with JCAL’s support, she is working towards a career in hospitality, which she’s discovered is her passion.

“I like interacting with customers, and using my customer service skills, so I want to work in the front of house area in a small café. I’m also very organised and like to keep the counter area, and café in general, clean and tidy at all times.”

Here are Job Centre Australia’s Top 5 Tips to help get you headed in the right direction in your career – just like Natalia:

1. Establish your goals

What is it that drives you, and that you’re most passionate about? We spend so much of our precious time in the workplace, it’s important to choose a job that speaks to your passions and interests. Have a good think about which type of industry and role you feel you’d be best suited to, and focus your energies on finding work there. It can help to write a list of things you want most out of a job, and then match it to the right career.

2. Research career pathways

Once you have a fair idea of the direction you want to head in, it’s time to investigate career pathways to get you there. Will you require further studies, courses, or on-the-job work experience? Having a conversation with a career counsellor, and even someone works in your chosen field, is a great way to learn how to best approach your journey.

3. Find support

Like we said, you are NOT alone! You may have friends and family who can offer guidance and support, but did you know there’s also a plethora of organisations (like Job Centre Australia) that offer professional jobseeker courses to help you discover what type of job you’re most passionate about, and then help you gain the skills to do it? The great thing is, you’ll also receive ongoing support so you have assistance while settling in and throughout your tenure.

4. Develop your skills

Once you’ve narrowed things down, it’s time to sharpen up that skillset. Keen on graphic design? You’ll need to enrol in a relevant course and get savvy with all the latest design software and technology. Getting into hospitality? Let’s get you signed up for your RSA, Barista and First Aid courses! And so on.

5. Get into a good routine

Whilst it can be tempting to turn into a couch potato once that final school bell rings (and by all means, we do encourage a well-deserved break over the holidays!), don’t get into the pattern. Sleeping and waking at regular times, eating healthy meals, exercising, and staying motivated as you work towards achieving meaningful employment will be your key to success.

While we understand leaving school can feel overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be! With the right support network, and these handy tips up your sleeve, you’ll be smoothly sailing into your new job in no time.

Reach out to our friendly Job Centre Australia team if we can help guide you on your journey.