Finding your first job

At our High School Center we have had the pleasure to host several successful business men over the past few weeks as they prepare our students for the workforce.  We wanted to share some of these tips and best practices to land a job, specifically our first job!

First of all we know it is tough out there, and there does not seem to be many jobs to be had—even fewer good jobs. So how does one find a job especially if you have never had a job before?  It’s important to never quit and more important than finding the perfect job is getting an employer to realize you are the perfect employee.  When you are unemployed then your full time job is finding job. You have to be working just as hard, if not harder, to secure the job as you would be when you actually have the job.


People are your greatest resource. Your family, friends, community, and church are the place to begin. The old saying goes, “It’s not about what you know, but who you know!” And although it is imperative to have the “knowledge” to do the job, it is still true that you must also know people in order to get those jobs. Networking is crucial in the career world. The people you know or meet could be the difference in nailing that next job interview. Especially take care in your references and who you use as a reference for your potential employer. And ask everyone around you, “Hey, do you know of any job opportunities?” You may be surprised to find out what others may have to offer.

  • It’s not always about what you know; it’s about who you know
  • Other people and their connections are the key to finding a job
  • Fill out the “Who You Know” part of the worksheet – 4 people that can help you find a job


  • The following are just some examples of places where students can find out about jobs:
    • High School
    • Church
    • Mall
    • Community Center
    • Online
      • www.monster.com / www.careerbuilder.com / www.job.com / www.snagajob.com
      • Fill out the “Where to Go” part of the worksheet – 6 places where you can go to find a job; refer to the “Where to Search” part of the worksheet for online websites to search

This one should be obvious, but check out your local Temp or Staffing Agency. Look, we have all got to start somewhere, and we cannot just be waiting around forever for the perfect job to fall in our lap. Besides, many times a temporary job can turn into a more permanent position. Part-time jobs can develop into full-time jobs if you are diligent and a hard worker. Or maybe you just work the temp job until you can find something more substantial. Remember, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much…” (Luke 16:10, ESV).

At the same time that you are doing everything else and searching everywhere else, pick up your local newspaper and check out the Wanted Ads. And keep looking. Every week new opportunities may arrive and new doors be opened. Job Postings can also be found in magazines, at your local college’s Career Board, and online.

In our technology era, the web is probably one of our most practical tools in researching and finding a job. There are many websites out there designed specifically to help people find not only a job, but the right job. Even Craig’s List can be a great place to find a job. Just be careful as there are many sketch and con jobs on this site.  Check out some of these sites, or simply do your own online search.

  • www.monster.com
  • www.careerbuilder.com
  • www.job.com
  • www.craigslist.com


Search for a job that works for you and your priorities. The following are the priorities for choosing the right job in order of most important to least:

    • Location – if you don’t drive, be sure to find a job that’s close enough so that you can:
      • Ride your bike
      • Walk
      • Take the bus
    • Schedule – School is a priority. If your job will interfere with grades and homework, then you should not take the job.
    • Pay – this should be last on your priority list. Of course, it would be nice to get a well-paying job. However, chances are that since you are so young and do not have a lot of experience, you should not expect more than minimum wage through $9 per hour.