Monthly Archives: May, 2013

Landing Your First Job

Here is where things start to get tricky. Most parts of the world are in financial crisis on some level, which means the first people to feel the pinch are the 16-24 year olds. The reason for this is because this age group is unskilled and inexperienced, and when there are fewer jobs to go around those with more skills and experience get the work.

It isn’t all bad though. The great thing about being a young person is that there are plenty of places that are willing to hire you, however they happen to be the jobs that you probably don’t want to do because you feel like you’re better than that. Supermarkets, fast food, retail, etc. are all places you should be looking at. Even if you are looking at graduate programs or entry level jobs in other fields, those jobs should always be on your list as a fallback. At this point in your life, in this economic climate, ANY job is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for you to learn, grow, and to gain experience and valuable skills. And here’s the big thing – employers are much more likely to hire someone that already has a job (even if it’s fast food) than someone who has been holding out and waiting for something better to come along. Continue reading →

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How to Choose a Career

This something we all agonize over in those last couple of years of high school, and as teenagers with no experience of the real world, we are ill equipped – both mentally and from a knowledge standpoint, to make such a decision. It’s really quite absurd that parents put the pressure on their children to make such momentous decisions, but it’s probably not something that’s going to change anytime soon. This is why I’m going to help make things as simple as possible so you can gain some kind of sanity and certainty of what the next step should be for you after you graduate from high school. It really begins with two simple questions: Continue reading →

The Big Reality Check

“You take the blue pill, you wake up and believe..whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes”.

Most career advice given to people over the last 40 years has been misguided at best and downright dangerous at worst. The West was caught in the grip of a “follow your dreams” craze that is only now just beginning to end. I want you to watch the below video, then watch it again.

Take it in and really internalise it. This is the reality of the job market, and indeed the world for young people leaving school now. In this utterly awful economic climate, there are far more people looking for jobs than there are actual jobs. And not just by a small margin. I live in Australia which has been relatively unaffected by the GFC – nevertheless thanks to poor government business profit and confidence is at an all time low. I’ve applied for jobs recently that had over 750 applicants for a single position. The recruiter only knows how many of those people were actually qualified for the position, but if you assume only 1/7 of them were, you’re still at a less than 1% chance of getting the job (in terms of pure numbers). Continue reading →

On a Wing and a Prayer

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, no doubt you have seen a reality television show or two in that time. Odds are high that you’ve watched quite a few singing shows – Popstars, American Idol, X Factor and more recently, The Voice. They are full of hopeful young (and a few old) people trying to “live their dreams” and be one of the rare few that finishes up with a recording contract. Some sound fantastic and have a good idea of where their abilities lie, others are clueless and just waiting to be humiliated.

And there is always one that inevitably makes me cringe when the judges ask “what’s your plan?” Continue reading →

Stacking the Deck

I’ve seen plenty of expert career advice online that claims to guarantee you aceing an interview and getting the job you want. It is all very feel good and “if you just do these things, you’re guaranteed to land the job you want!” Unfortunately none of this advice ever acknowledges one of the hardest to swallow facts of the job market – that no matter how suitable you are for a position, a certain percentage of getting it will be luck. Continue reading →

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