Worth the Paycheck: Tips for Job Hunting After High School


You worked hard to get through high school, taking the most challenging courses, choosing your electives with care, and making good grades. You graduated with honors, and now you are ready to move on to the real world. The transition from high school student to regular worker can be a tough one, especially if you are not prepared. While high school may have provided some rudimentary preparation for working life, chances are, your teachers did not go into detail about writing a killer resume, acing the interview, and landing the job of your dreams.


If you want to succeed in the real world, you first need to let would-be employers know that you are worth their commitment of time and money, in other words that you are worth the paycheck. Proving your worth is no easy task, especially if this will be your first job. Many employers are reluctant to hire inexperienced applicants, especially when the job market is flooded with so many older and more experienced workers.


Cast a Net


Making yourself stand out in a crowded market requires a great deal of creativity. You can start by reaching out to those you know, including friends, family members, teachers, and others. Let them know that you are actively looking for a job, and give them a brief rundown or your interests, training, and qualifications. Encourage those in your network to spread the word far and wide, you never know how far it will go.




Reaching out on social media is important, but making contacts in the real world is just as vital. Making your network as wide as possible will be essential in your job search, so leave no stone unturned. Talk to former coworkers, employers, friends, teacher and be sure to put your face and resume out there on sites like LinkedIn.


Intern and Start Small


Getting your foot in the door on a temporary or contract basis is another way to show potential employers you are worth the paycheck. You do not have to wait for a full-time job opportunity to appear either. You can create your own opportunity by selling yourself and showing your boss what you can accomplish. Diligent and dedicated employees are always worth the paycheck, and that status is something you should strive for.


Get Certified


Some positions might require special certifications and education on your part. It could be a simple food handler’s permit, or a more in depth degree. If you know you can get some done, work on getting these certifications now. If you’re looking into insurance industry jobs, a truck accident attorney in Denver might be able to recommend some places you can find education and certification. You can also look up simple degrees from community colleges to get started. 


Do Your Homework


Whether you are seeking a contract position or answering an ad for a full-time position, it is important to educate yourself and learn as much as you can about the company. Going into the interview cold is a recipe for disaster, so check the stock ticker, read the latest company newsletter, and learn what you can about what will hopefully be your next employer. If you’ll need to have certification for a position talk to experts. Make sure you know what education might be required before getting the position.


Landing a job out of high school can be difficult, but remember that the first position is always the hardest one. Once you have some experience, you may find it easier to land subsequent jobs and move forward in your career.


By: Eileen O'Shanassy

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.