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Forums / Young people / anxious 19yo who's never had a job- help!

Topic: anxious 19yo who's never had a job- help!

15 posts, 0 answered
  1. spontaneous sunflower
    spontaneous sunflower  avatar
    48 posts
    10 September 2021

    I'm actually 18, turning 19 next month but anyway 😂... brief backstory- I dropped out of high school early 2020 due to years of struggling with anxiety and depression and I'm currently undertaking a tafe course. Ever since I turned 15, I've wanted to get a job, to be able to earn money and save up for travel, moving out, etc.. but due to a couple reasons, despite wanting to get a job, I've never even applied for one. I feel a bit ashamed to admit that but I trust this is a judgement-free forum. Because of my anxiety, I have always felt extremely anxious about the steps to getting a job- the handing in the resume, the interview process. In high school we were briefly taught to write our own resumes, cover letters + what to expect in an interview but honestly I still felt confused and anxious about the process and still do to this day. It's funny to me that I could write essays in high school and get 90% and above but can't write a simple resume or cover letter. For years I have asked my parents for help with these things, and they have expressed their support for me to get a job, but I still sit here reading my resume over and over feeling it is not good enough and feeling embarrassed to apply for a job at almost 19 years old, with no year 12 pass and no previous job experience. I feel that I am at a point where my mental health is significantly better than it has been in past years and I feel ready to get out on the work field (I'm desperate to fill my time with work as I only have tafe once a week) apart from these pesky anxieties that continue to hold me back. I worry what to say if an employer were to ask why I didn't finish high school, why I've never gotten a job. I mean, I don't even know if those are things an employer might potentially ask but I worry about it anyway. I don't know how to make myself look like an appealing person to hire when my resume has so little to show. I have no work experience except for a week of unpaid volunteer work back in 2018. I was environment captain in 2017. I didn't win any notable awards in high school. I don't have any referees for an employer to call. I really want to work and earn my own money but I just don't know how.

  2. Petal22
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    1330 posts
    10 September 2021 in reply to spontaneous sunflower

    Hi spontaneous sunflower,

    Thats great that you want to get a job 😊

    Can I ask what type of work you are interested in applying for?

    I really don’t think an employer would expect you to have a lot of background jobs because of your age… they will understand….

    I also don’t think an employer would ask why you didn’t finish school or had a job…..

    I know people who finished school at 15 and have great jobs!

    When you apply for a job just be positive and let the employer know you would be a great employee and that you are reliable…… just have a can do attitude….. and a smile…..

    I understand you have anxiety, I also had anxiety…. If you’d like to learn how to manage your anxiety you can… it can be managed 😊 just make an appointment with your gp and do a mental health plan together this will enable you to see a psychologist who can give you many strategies for your anxiety…… once you learn these skills you can use them through out your life 😊

    Im here to chat to you and if you need any help for an application please ask me any questions 😊

  3. jaz28
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    10 September 2021 in reply to spontaneous sunflower

    Hi there,

    I understand that applying for your first job is daunting. I did so at 14-15 and I was scared, I'm now 20 and on my third job. I'm just saying this to let you know it does get easier with time. The hardest step to take is the first one, but once you do it, you realise it isn't that bad. I don't get nervous as much anymore (but ofc nerves are only natural when going for interviews etc.)

    Employer's don't expect much experience from you at your age. My first job was at McDonald's, so if you can't find much - they are always hiring and it can be a good starting point to broaden your resume? I worked there for 3 years and loved it. I outgrew it eventually and love my current job right now (shop assistant) but I still stand by that it is a great first job to have. Don't undermine it.

    Once you get working you will start to realise the freedom and bliss that having your own money encompasses! The first step is hard but my advice would be to just try and put yourself out there to a level you can handle.

    It will happen.

    Jaz.

  4. spontaneous sunflower
    spontaneous sunflower  avatar
    48 posts
    13 September 2021 in reply to Petal22

    Hi Petal22,

    Thanks for replying!

    Since it would be my first job, I'm not going to be tooo picky so would be happy to do anything from retail to hospitality. I'm currently studying animal studies with a specialisation in vet nursing, so eventually I'd love to get a job at a vet clinic but seems a little daunting for a first job hahaha. I would even consider working at a pet groomers, a shelter, a pet retail store, etc for experience before actually working in a vet clinic.

    I suppose that's true about employers not expecting much experience at my age. I often forget my older brother also didn't get a job until 18/19 with not much to show on his resume. I think I just get so in my head about things that I blow it up to be so daunting and dramatic but when I step out of my own shoes and look at other people's experiences, I can see that other people are/have been in similar situations to me.

    And yes I agree with you 100% that anxiety can be managed! I have been seeing a psychologist for a few years now and it's helped immensely. I still get bad bouts of anxiety from time to time but I find it a lot more manageable and easier to work through than I did when I was first diagnosed at 13!

    Thanks :)

    1 person found this helpful
  5. spontaneous sunflower
    spontaneous sunflower  avatar
    48 posts
    13 September 2021 in reply to jaz28

    Hi Jaz,

    Thanks for your reply!

    Yes you're spot on, a first job for anyone is nerve wracking. As someone with anxiety doing something for the first time is probably extra anxiety-inducing for me. But I have worked on my anxiety over the years and while I still get anxious at first sometimes, when I break through the initial uncertainty and anxiety of the task I find it's not so bad. The first step is definitely always the hardest, especially when it's been put off for a while and the anxiety has had time to grow and grow in my head haha.

    Glad to hear you enjoyed working at maccas- for a first job I'm definitely not too picky where I want to work so I will keep that in mind!

    I look forward to the freedom that comes with having my own money haha as well as gaining new life lessons and experiences and meeting new people! It feels scary and stressful now but I know everyone at some point has had to apply for their first job and to some degree probably also felt anxious.

    Thanks heaps for your advice 😊

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Zach_M
    Zach_M avatar
    2 posts
    13 September 2021
    Hey Spontaenous sunflower, while you have already received phenomenal advice regarding your worries, I will add to the list a snippet of advice that I got when I was 25 and having similar concerns to you. While you're in your twenties, work to find whatever lights a fire in you. If you need to go through 20 unpaid internships, years of university, losing jobs, or even earning money and then quitting jobs, do it while you're in your twenties. It's important to remember in the grand scheme, from 19-30 years old is a small blip in the rest of your life. From my many conversations with elderly people over the years, I've learned that as you look back on your life as an 80 year old, it's rare that the focus is ever on the times when the money was tough. You tend to focus on times in which you thrived, enjoyed life, and worked hard to achieve goals. This is the time of life where you can dedicate yourself to multiple endeavors, with minimal consequences. I understand resume writing and interviews are difficult, but the more you do them, the easier they get and the more confident you get too.
    This age is the age to take manageable risks, learn from potential mistakes, and hopefully develop into the best version of yourself.
    Hope all is well,
    Zach.
    1 person found this helpful
  7. jaz28
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    13 September 2021 in reply to spontaneous sunflower

    Exactly ! :) Once you do it, the anxiety will dissipate and you will feel amazing!

    Good luck.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Banksy92
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    100 posts
    14 September 2021

    Hey spontanous sunflower,

    Great to hear you're eager to work and save for things you want in life - getting your first job is a really exciting time of your life!

    I think even after working several jobs in my life I still feel nervous about applications and interviews - it's really common and fairly normal. Don't let it stop you from putting yourself out there and seeing how you go. Every time we try (even if we don't get it first shot) it's a learning experience and gets us one step closer to where we are meant to be.

    If you're really concerned about your resume, have you considered doing a bit more volunteer work to flesh out your experience? Maybe you could offer to help out at an animal shelter or reach out to a not for profit to see what opportunities are available? Even without experience, if you bring a positive can-do attitude to the interview I'm sure plenty of places would be happy to give you a go for paid work as well.

    Hope this helps.

  9. spontaneous sunflower
    spontaneous sunflower  avatar
    48 posts
    15 September 2021 in reply to Zach_M
    Thanks for the great advice Zach 😊
  10. spontaneous sunflower
    spontaneous sunflower  avatar
    48 posts
    15 September 2021 in reply to Banksy92

    Hi Banksy92,

    Thanks for replying. Yes I have considered doing volunteer work and am always keeping an eye out for volunteer opportunities at animal shelters and such but have yet to find anything close enough to me. But it is something I am definitely open to doing!

    Thank you for your advice :)

  11. Sophia16
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    122 posts
    15 September 2021 in reply to spontaneous sunflower

    Hey,

    Firstly, please do not think that it is embarrassing because you haven't applied for a job. I started my first job at Oportos at 18, and quit after 6 months because I disliked being bossed around. I am now 19 and have my own piano teaching business.

    Yes, applying for a new job can be soo stressful but remember life is difficult and in order for us to survive we need to move out of our comfort zone.

    It is super annoying that high school never taught us how to write a cover letter or resume. I have a template you can use that I will attach. It is super helpful.


    YOUR NAME
    Phone – Email – Address –

    • State your full name and contact details in an
    easy-to-read font
    • Keep it brief
    • Avoid using labels e.g. “Personal Details”,
    “Contact Details”, “Resume” or “CV”



    1-2 sentences on what job you want to do now and what is your long term
    career goal and what you will contribute to the role OR 3-4 statements on
    some of the following: your experience, credentials, expertise, personal
    values, work ethics, background or personality
    • Relevant to the position you are applying for
    • Sample sentence starters: “I seek to achieve a career as a…”, “My aim is to develop a career in the … industry”, “My long term career goals are to….”, “I seek to apply the skills and knowledge gained during my degree of … to a career as…”


    EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
    Start-end date Degree/Diploma
    Institution
    • Key units/Majors, Grades (optional)
    • GPA/4.0 (optional)
    • Achievements: Scholarships, awards (if
    applicable)

    • Write the full name of degree, institution and major

    EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE

    Start – end date Position
    Organisation
    • 3-5 dot points to list your responsibilities and
    achievements, rather than just general job
    duties. Aim is to describe transferable skills you
    gained in this job that could be used in your
    next job.
    • Address the selection criteria
    • Achievements (e.g. statistics, met sales targets,
    innovation, success of programs or services you
    were involved in
    • Avoid large paragraphs or one-word dot points
    • Use past tense and first-person
    • Use action words

    CORE SKILLS

    Include IT, languages and soft skills and give specific examples of how you have developed and acquired those skills


    EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES OR VOLUNTEERING
    EXPERIENCE
    Start-end date Position
    Organisation
    • 3-5 dot points on responsibilities and
    achievements
    • Demonstrate well-roundedness
    • Evidence of transferable skills
    • Highly sought after by employers
    • Explain the extent and level of involvement for
    each activity and give examples to illustrate
    relevance to the job you are applying for


    REFEREES
    Write “Referees available on request” OR for each referee write:
    Name
    Position
    Organisation
    Phone and/or email address
    • Always ask a referee prior to putting them on your
    resume. Thank them for being your referee
    • Employers preference is for professional referees
    – can be voluntary, paid or unpaid experience
    • Not recommended to use a friend

  12. Sophia16
    Community Champion
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    Sophia16 avatar
    122 posts
    15 September 2021 in reply to Sophia16

    COVER LETTER TEMPLATE


    STRUCTURE AND CONTENT
    Your name
    Your address
    Your phone
    Your email
    Receiver’s Name
    Receiver’s Position
    Company/Organisation
    Address
    Date
    Re: Title and reference number of the position for which you’re applying


    Dear Receiver’s name/Sir/Madam
    Paragraph 1 – Position: Indicate the position for which you are applying (position, source, date)
    and show enthusiasm for the position. Make the start interesting: what attracted you to the role?
    Paragraph 2 – Qualifications: Address the selection criteria and use supporting statements
    with reference to your degree, skills and knowledge gained. Use full name of degree and institution. Can mention GPA, key
    subjects and awards.
    Paragraph 3 – Employment, work experience, volunteering or extra-curricular: A sentence or two briefly
    highlighting the main skills or abilities you can bring to the role and any relevant personal qualities or attributes. Refer to
    employment and skills gained. Backup with examples as evidence you possess selection criteria
    Paragraph 4 – Show research of organisation: Indicate and explain why you are interested in the
    job/role/organisation. Avoid quoting from the website, they wrote it. Show insightful research, tell them something different.
    Research on newspapers, trade journals, financial reports, publicity materials, annual reports, and other sources on the web
    (ensure validity). Possible areas to mention would be organisation values, strategic direction and culture.
    Paragraph 5 – Thank you: Advise on your ability for an interview. Thank organisation/person for their consideration of
    your application.
    Sincerely (if you know the receiver’s name), OR Yours faithfully (if addressed to Sir/Madam),
    Your name.

  13. spontaneous sunflower
    spontaneous sunflower  avatar
    48 posts
    16 September 2021 in reply to Sophia16

    Hi Sophia,

    Oh my gosh thanks so much for replying with the resume and cover letter templates! That's very helpful!

    That's amazing you have your own piano teaching business. Wishing you all the best with it😊

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Sophia16
    Community Champion
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    122 posts
    16 September 2021 in reply to spontaneous sunflower

    No worries at all :)

    Let me know once you apply for a job!!

  15. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
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    Sleepy21 avatar
    4156 posts
    17 September 2021 in reply to spontaneous sunflower

    Hi spontaneous sunflower,

    I think if u had a tiny tiny bit of support, someone to read over Ur resume and reaffirm that it was just great, ud be able to get out there and apply! Sounds just like u don't yet feel as confident or as capable as u are...maybe a supportive friend could help u see that u truly have a tonne to offer any workplace, they would be lucky to have u.

    I have a fear myself of rejection that makes it hard to put myself out there, so I can really relate. Although I have has jobs, I would play it safe and not apply for ones I felt may reject me

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