Becoming job ready

Whether an employee or self-employed, you will require motivation and self-discipline to achieve the expectations and targets of either the employer or the clients.

Most people’s first experience of work is as an employee in an entry-level position. Many roles are service delivery and both the retail and hospitality sectors are known as employing higher numbers of entry-level employees than other sectors in Australia.

An aspect of SYC’s My First Job initiative is to bring awareness to the short-fall of entry-level positions within the Australian workforce, to support young people making the transition from a learning environment to a working environment and becoming independent.

“Of course I understand myself – I live with myself don’t I?”

This may seem like a curious heading, but actually figuring out who you are, what your values are and where you fit into this world are all questions that arise during transition phases in your life.

The transition from learning to working for many coincides with becoming self-sufficient and becoming responsible for yourself, and can be a turbulent period.

Having an idea about what your strengths are and what you are passionate about in life will help in defining what employment positions you will strive for, and potentially how successful you are at achieving these positions.

You don’t need to have all the answers before you land your first job, but it helps to set your employment trajectory towards positions which you have an interest in and ideally will learn from and be fulfilled by.

Planning your career path

It is really important that you are clear with yourself about what your strengths are to help dictate what job or career path you are suited to do.

The following list of questions is designed to help you decide on an appropriate employment path:

  • What is your favourite pastime?

  • What environment do you find enjoyable being in (e.g. being outdoors, working with people etc.)?

  • List five skills which you believe are your strengths (e.g. communications skills, attention to detail etc.)

  • List five skills which you believe require some development.

Once you have answers to these questions, and perhaps more which you think are relevant to you and your interests, look through by yourself or with someone who has employment experience (e.g. a parent, teacher, mentor). Ask the following questions:

  • What industry/sector do you think you would like to work in?

  • Do the answers to the above questions show strength to a particular industry or sector? If so, what and is this different to what you believe is your preferred industry/sector?

  • What qualifications do you need to achieve a position within this industry/sector?

  • Do you have supports to be able to undertake study or do you need to secure an employment position in the short term?

These sets of questions, or similar, will help you prepare yourself for appropriate employment options.

You need to keep in mind that you might not be able to start where you think you would like to and you will see from My First Job Inspirational Stories, that everyone has started out somewhere in employment, and it’s not always in the most glamorous positions!

Give yourself time to achieve your goals and treat your employment experiences as stepping stones to your ideal position.

Check out the Career Employment Plan template, to help you set out achievable employment targets.