Speaking from a rather unpleasant experience of my own, I would love to share some pointers on employment and job searching. Much of this will sound redundant but my primary focus is for those in high school or younger.
As a solid rule of thumb for gaining employment in today’s times you will need to remember the following things.
Most employers these days do not follow the old model of hire, train, evaluate and advance. Meaning, if you want to obtain a job today, you will need to prepare for that job years ahead. Most employers require anywhere from two to five years of experience in that given field in order for them to even look at your resume.
Most employers understand that everyone is hurting and without seeming cynical are able to take advantage of this in the form of requirements to keep graduates from entering the field (as the above), salary minimizing and longevity (as in how long they will keep you).
The college you attend will do very little to help you unless you know in particular a program that they offer which no one else does. You might also know the company you would like to work for after graduation only seems to hire people from a particular college, which is uncommon.
Today, most businesses are involved heavily in sales and operations. They expect a certain level of aptitude from you operating in that particular business whether it is in sales, marketing, advertising, management or anything related. Thus, if you choose to graduate with a nonbusiness degree, be prepared to know the particular company you wish to work for and have a foot in the door.
Now, with those few facts of life out of the way allow me to get to the brass tax on what you need to be working on right now before college, or even high school, begins.
Be prepared to follow through with any goals you set forth. If you want to become a CPA then do your research ahead of time, get mentors in the field, ask around for an internship and become acquainted with the stress levels.
Know ahead of time whether or not you want to join a social club. Being a part of a fraternity or sorority in college can be an especially rewarding experience; however, it can also soak up a lot of precious time for those who need to remain goal focused. Aside from costing a lot out-of-pocket, social clubs have as many disadvantages as they do advantages and thus are not for everyone entering college.
Obtain work experience now in something you want to continue later in life. To return to my earlier point, if you wish to be a CPA after college, you should be preparing now for that future interview.
I hope that this viewpoint has been concise and on-point because we cannot all be told how our future years of employment will be in truth.
Steven D. Ellis