School leavers - Is this field of work right for you?

Question for school leavers - Is this field of work right for me?

Do your research to know what it takes to get and keep a job in your chosen field.

Before you dive into your job search, it’s good to know what’s really involved in getting and keeping a job in your chosen field. This can help you find and choose the right vacancies to go for. It can also help you impress employers with your industry knowledge when you are writing applications and in interviews.

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You can find out about your chosen field of work and whether this career is for you by getting online and doing some research, talking to people who work in the field or organising work experience.

By doing these things, you’ll have answers to questions like:

  • How many job opportunities are there? Are entry-level jobs easy to get or is there a lot of competition? Are new businesses opening up or is employment in this industry on the decline? Are there jobs available locally, or do you need to move?

  • What’s really involved in working in this field on a daily basis? Have you ever visited a workplace where people in this field are employed? Do you know how much time they spend doing different types of tasks? Do you know how they are expected to interact with team members, supervisors, clients and contractors? Do you know what the work environment and conditions are really like?

  • Are any formal qualifications, occupational or industry licences or professional accreditations required to work in this field? Some professional occupations require an industry or professional practice certification in addition to a degree (eg. chartered accountant, clinical psychologist). Lots of entry-level jobs require industry certificates, like Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) for hospitality work or a ‘White Card’ for the construction industry.

  • What sorts of work experience, skills and personality traits do employers look for in people when recruiting for this occupation or industry? Different employers often want quite different things. Take retail for instance, the service you provide as an assistant in a grocery store will be different to the service you might provide in a premium luggage store. Are you a flexible person? Can you adapt to the needs of different employers?

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