A glimpse of the real world experience

The excitement of high school has begun so long ago. Stepping into my high school the first day of my senior year, I was ready for it to be the last. I have gotten most of my required classes out of the way and been accepted to all the colleges on my list. I was ready to leave my mommy’s nest and fly. My parents of course thought I was far from that.

A few weeks ago, as my family and I had our dinner, I talked to them about Prom. As I was focusing on the material things such as the dress, the shoes, the hair and of course the date, my parents were thinking only of the money. The only thing that they bothered to ask about was the price of the ticket. Shying away from the question, I swallowed another bite of the taco on my plate. But my parents wouldn’t have it. They persisted and I gave in. I admitted to them the cost of one ticket alone and they were FLABBERGASTED. That conversation quickly turned from a jolly conversation to a sour lecture. My parents wanted me to get what is so hard to do in this economy, what many people are struggling to do, they wanted me to get a JOB.

This economy has been in a recession for how long? I thought if adults were being laid off, what were the chances of me, a senior just about to graduate from high school, getting a job.

Now, just to be upfront about it, I did not, or have not yet landed a job. That, of course, would be a miracle. But I was able to take time and prepare for one. For a few weeks I searched and searched for a part time job that wouldn’t interfere with my academic life. (Because although I was in desperate need for a job, my education is always a priority.)

When I finally found a door that could lead to many opportunities, I realized, yet again, how unprepared I was. Of course, in my English class, I had sketched up what my resume would look like, it was still not something that I wanted to present to the company that I was applying to.

And this is some of what I learned,

Depending on the job that you are applying to, you are expected to turn in a resume that would “wow” the person that is hiring you. For me, my teacher suggested that I go with a resume that had my name in BOLD BLACK CAPITAL LETTERS across the top of the page so that they can distinguish me among other resumes from the pile.

What seemed to work the best as well, is to investigate the job that you are applying to and SUBTLY include that to your own resume. If you are applying to a job as a receptionist, it would be nice to see that there are specific skills listed on your resume that are in that field. If you have fast typing skills, write that. If you have at least minimal knowledge of the functions of a computer, write that. If you are a very talkative or very communicative person, write that. There are simple skills that we may not realize we possess but can genuinely be the difference between you and the next person on the list.

On interview day,

Whether or not the office tells you, there is a dress code to any job that you are applying to. As I looked it up, there were three categories, business casual, business professional, and fashion designer. First impressions are everything and you want to make sure that you get that just right. After that, all you have to do is talk about yourself and the strengths that you can bring to support the company or wherever it is you are applying to.

During the interview,

Don’t be scared. I know I was, walking into the office not knowing what exactly to expect. It will not be your fault if one of the workers or even the person that is hiring you has a bad day. You cannot take it personally. The best thing to do is smile and listen to everything that the person is trying to tell you.

At the end of the interview, it is always good to ask a few questions to the person that is hiring you to let them know that you are invested and interested in becoming a part of their community within the workplace. NEVER ask about salary or of getting a raise but ask about the job that you may be placed in or any questions at all pertaining to the company.

And finally, after the interview, it is always nice to make sure that they have everything that they need to call you back if they want you for the position. Make sure they have a copy of your resume or give them a new copy with revisions already fixed and a reference page to anyone that would be willing to say good stuff about you. (Don’t let it be your family.)

Having an insight to reality, is difficult to wrap your head around. Looking for a job or applying for whatever it is needs time and focus from the applicant to make it the best that they can. It will be difficult to transition from being taught to applying those skills in the real world. But an advantage to me, I have four more years of education before the real work begins.

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