Taking employment into our own hands

30 Nov 2012

As the government start a major overhaul in the way students sit exams and increase costs of college and university, should young people start to take their future into their own hands? Setting up small businesses, volunteering and finding work experience- just some of the ways that young people are considering, given the current state of the economy. It all adds to your CV and the last employment or should I say unemployment figures show an increase in piece rate work. That’s getting paid per product you make to people who haven’t come across the term before. 


That’s how I get paid at the moment and many people have resorted to just handing their CV or examples of work out to any employer they think could be interested. For me, I just emailed the person who is now my boss to see if I could do some guest blogging and after reading my blog he wanted to pay me to write for a new site that he would set up. That was a bit of a surprise but it just shows that even making the smallest of enquiries can get you a long way. 

It was something that was actually mentioned on a BBC Three programme last year about how to get employment as a young person and at the time it wasn’t of much use to me but more recently it has been useful. As well as the actual job, it teaches you a lot about managing your money which you will need for my next point. I have heard stories about people who have sent round lots of emails, handed out 100s of copies of their CV and not got anything back, but if you ask the right people you should get the right answers. For me, it isn’t just a job. It’s a chance to get more opportunities and learn new skills for later in life and the very fact that you are handing out your CV, sending round emails will show that you care about your future. Something that I’m sure every employer would be glad to hear. 

My second point is that this isn’t an easy road for the government to take and I’m sure that if they had a choice they would much rather have every single person looking for employment in a job and you can help with that. Setting up a business does sound complicated and expensive but having just sat an exam in how to do this I know that there are huge benefits for you and your eventual employees. Funds are available to help you with this, you just have to know where to look. It means that you can make money and pay yourself a wage while providing jobs for people in your local community. I’m not going to go into a full guide on how to set up a business because I’m sure you can find that somewhere else on the big old World Wide Web but it’s not too complicated.

Volunteering and work experience won’t lead you right into a job but if you can it never hurts to gain more experience. Even if it’s not in the field you are interested in. It shows that you are pro-active and it also requires organisation so there’s two positive things for your CV before you have even been in the placement long enough to know your way round. From firsthand experience, working in my local Age UK shop I know that you get to work with great people as well. At the same time, you are doing something that will help others so you’re not the only one benefitting from the situation. 

In the end, it may be a mixture of these that gets you the skills and experience needed for a job, but just as a warning, I wouldn’t recommend mixing volunteering with starting a business. It’s hard work and needs focus. I know there are student jobs out there but do you really want to be working in a pub, really? If you pro-actively get out there enquiring about it, I can tell you it will feel loads better when you finally get a job, knowing that you have actually worked towards it. Surely that has to be a good thing.

By Robert Mooney

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