Looking for Employment
If you are considering going straight into employment look for a position with on-the-job training, with the chance to gain useful skills while you are earning. In some jobs you may also have the chance to gain work-related qualifications. Training at work can improve your chances of being promoted as well as giving you better job security and skills you can use in future jobs. Some jobs don’t offer any training and may be a bit of a “dead end” for your career. Even if wages appear to be high to begin with, remember you won’t have much chance to progress in your role or learn anything new. Perhaps you could overcome this by taking evening classes or completing a distance learning course.
Where to look for Jobs
Try some of these sites for job searches. On many online job sites you can set up an email alert, where details of suitable vacancies are sent straight to your email address.
Virtually all major employers will also have their own websites and, for some, this can be their main way of recruiting new staff. Try using a search engine like Google to look for employers’ websites or to find out about areas of work you are interested in. You can also use an online directory like Yell to find details of employers in your area, if you want to send speculative letters or CVs.
Jobcentre Plus advertises vacancies in local job centres. If you see a job which interests you, just ask and the staff will provide you with details and may even arrange an interview for you.
Local newspapers are a good place to look for job vacancies in your area. It can be a good idea to check out the free papers as well. Daily papers will usually include job vacancies on one particular day of the week.
Employment agencies offer a wide range of jobs and usually have temporary positions available. Agencies often specialise in a particular type of work — for example office work, health care, factory work or hospitality.
When you register you will usually have a short interview where you can talk about your skills and experience, how long you are available and the kind of work you would like to do. Often you will be asked to complete a test, for example typing, filing or other relevant skills. Once you are registered with an agency, they can start to find you suitable work. You may need to register with several agencies in order to find a job that suits you. Many agencies also offer an online service — try www.AlljobsUK.com to find websites for local employment agencies.
Making the most of personal contacts — sometimes called networking — can be a great way to find a job, especially in very competitive areas of work. Try asking local businesses about vacancies and make sure family and friends know you’re job hunting too. They may know of vacancies where they work or in their local area.
Attending jobs fairs, careers conventions and exhibitions will give you the chance to get careers information, meet local employers and find out about job opportunities in your area. Organisations like colleges and employment agencies might run jobs fairs — look out for posters in school.
How to Improve your Chances of Finding a Job
Even when there are fewer job opportunities around, there are lots of ways you can improve your chances of finding work:
Be prepared to travel. You may need to look outside your local area to find suitable jobs. Chesterfield is surrounded by other towns and cities which are easy to reach on public transport. Places like Sheffield, Derby or Nottingham may have opportunities that you can’t find more locally.
Be flexible about the type of work you’re prepared to do. You can get valuable experience from doing a range of different jobs, although they might not be your ideal career choice. For example, if you want to work towards a career in IT, you could gain experience of using computers by doing administration work or using a computerised till in a shop. General skills like team work, communication and customer service are an important part of most jobs.
Improve your qualifications. Higher unemployment means lots of people competing for fewer jobs. If you have good qualification levels you’ll have an advantage over jobseekers who have few qualifications.
Build your experience. Even if you can’t find paid work at the moment, there are lots of opportunities to improve your practical skills and confidence by doing work experience placements and volunteering. Employers say they welcome young people who are keen to get some work experience, and placements can sometimes lead to a paid job.
Keep yourself informed — find out about the growth areas of the economy, those areas of work which are predicted to do well despite the recession. You can then choose education or training to prepare you for jobs in the future.