Five signs you might be ready for your first job

Have you started thinking about working for the first time?

It’s a big step, but a good one – the research shows that young people who work part time at some point during their education may find it easier to move into a full-time job, and take less time to find a stable job than those who don’t work while they’re still at school.

If you’re wondering if you should be looking for a job, here are five signs that may indicate that you’re ready to work part time:

  1. You are thinking about making some money
    This could be to have more control over what you can buy, to save for something big like a car, or just because you’re ready to start building your wealth and working towards billionaire status. If you’ve been thinking a bit lately about how much money you have then that might be a good sign that you’re ready to look for a job.
  2. You can manage your time by yourself
    To work part time you’ll need to be reliable and keep track of your own time and shifts, so if you feel like you are able to manage your schedule by yourself then this could be a good sign that you’re ready to take on more responsibility.
  3. You feel confident talking to adults
    Even if you find a job with a large proportion of teen workers (think fast-food, the supermarket, or the pizza shop), you’ll still need to be able to speak confidently with adults, so if you feel like you’ve crossed this barrier lately then you might be ready to work. You’ll know if you’ve reached this stage because you feel confident buying things at the shop, or calling the hairdresser to book a haircut.
  4. You are old enough to legally work
    There are rules around how old you need to be before you can start work, so if you’ve passed those age barriers then it’s a sign that you’re ‘officially’ old enough to work. If you’re not sure, search online for labour laws in your location and do your own research (if you can do that, it’s another sign you’re ready to work).
  5. You want to build more work-ready skills
    Working part-time is a great way to make a ‘soft’ entry into the workforce – you’ll have more space to learn the ropes and it’s expected that you’ll probably make a few mistakes. You’ll learn about shifts and uniforms, timesheets and payslips, and you’ll also learn a lot about working in an adult environment, which can help you prepare for working in a more formal and less forgiving environment down the track.

After all this, if you think you’re ready then the next thing to do is starting looking at jobs around you in the kinds of workplaces you’re interested in.


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