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Femme Fatale Offline
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18 and Never Had a Job - December 14th 2013, 06:21 PM

I have a huge problem at the moment. I'm graduating high school in a few days and I need to spend the rest of the year before college working full time. I'm 18 years old and I have never had a job. I've filled out so many applications the past few years but I have never once even gotten called for an interview. I'm so stressed out right now because no one wants to hire someone with no work experience at the moment and I just don't know what to do.
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Re: 18 and Never Had a Job - December 14th 2013, 06:59 PM

Hi Misty!

I'm actually in the same situation as you but a few years later. I've never had a paying job so far because I lack experience. Unfortunately to get experience you need some sort of job so it's like a vicious cycle, eh?

I think one of the few options available to you is to try and volunteer for a few months first while still applying for jobs (Make sure to include the volunteering on your applications!). Hopefully if they see you spend time volunteering then it'll make you a more desireable candidate.

Other things you could do is to email companies you're interested working with and inquiring about jobs. Not every job gets advertised and if you're taking the initiative to contact them then it shows them that you're serious about the job and could make you stand out.

I hope this helps!
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Re: 18 and Never Had a Job - December 14th 2013, 07:40 PM

Continue applying. I noticed when I worked retail most of the time there were hiring cycles. I noticed there was a rush in February, May, and August/September. However, we still hired throughout the year.

If you know anyone that has a job, ask if you can put them down when you apply or if they will ask their manager about your app.

Don't eliminate anything when you are starting out. Fast food is a good stepping stone if you can put in six months in it. Also be prepared to work nights too as that will make you more desirable and you aren't in school. Since I like working nights, I have had 2 RN job offers before I graduated.

Also, don't be afraid to start out part-time. Anything is better than nothing and most jobs are part-time now due to the new healthcare changes although entry-level jobs were moving to part-time before the healthcare changes.

Make a spreadsheet of where you applied (like Max's Grocery Store), what location (21st Street), position (cashier), and what date you applied (1/1/2014).

My friend was in your position when he was 18 and it took him months to find a job.
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Re: 18 and Never Had a Job - December 14th 2013, 09:19 PM

Hey there,

I never had a real job until I was 18, either. I worked as a self-employed house- and petsitter for many years, but I had never actually been employed by a company. When I graduated high school, I decided to take a gap year and work before going on to college, and so I had to find a job rather quickly. I didn't get any calls for interviews for a while, but finally I got an interview at Petco after my neighbors (whose cats I've watched and taken care of for years) went in and gave me a good recommendation. Sometimes it's not the experience you have but the people you know. Try to think: Is there someone who could get you in somewhere, either as an intern or a paid worker? Ask your parents if they know anybody who could help you out. Think about your teachers from school. Could they put in a good word for you somewhere? I was lucky that I attended a high school that had an Animal Science program, and so I had already had some experience working with animals and knew people who could attest to that.

Like it has been stated, don't be afraid to start out part-time or fill your resume with volunteer positions. A lot of the "work" experience I list on my resume came from non-paid internships and volunteer work (like TeenHelp!). Also, don't be afraid to follow up on your applications. If you applied somewhere and haven't heard back, give them a call and ask about the status of the app. There's a possibility that they might say they're not interested, but it also demonstrates that you're dedicated and truly interested in the position, and might serve as that little bit of incentive to call you in for an interview.

Most of all, don't give up hope! Keep searching and apply everywhere. I'm sure you'll find something.

Best of luck to you!!
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Re: 18 and Never Had a Job - December 14th 2013, 10:38 PM

It's a pain in the back side but you've just got to keep trying. I didn't get my first job until I was 18 either, and you go through a good few no-answers before you get anywhere. Don't let yourself get down about it, it happens to the most of us.

Other things you can do to aid your experience is to try some volunteer work. It's not great as far as getting any payment (if it's unpaid) but it will help fill your resume up with experience, and that's what employers are looking for.

Just don't give up hope. Keep trying, you'll get somewhere soon enough.
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Re: 18 and Never Had a Job - December 15th 2013, 01:16 AM

Employers may not have wanted to hire you because you were still a minor. Now that you are 18, you might actually have a better chance at getting hired. Like other people already said, apply to everything you find, whether it's part-time or full-time (a part-time job might become full-time later on). Some jobs may not be very "glamorous," but if they pay, then they pay! Take the job and keep looking, if you're not satisfied. Be sure to personally hand in your resume/application to the supervisor/manager (if that's not possible, then at least make a point of meeting with them and introducing yourself). Follow up (preferably in-person, but could be over the phone as well) soon after submitting your application (I'd wait no more than a week). Be persistent, and I'm sure something will work out for you! Many 18-year-old applicants have been in your position and managed to find work (myself included). =)

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