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Looking for Employment

Once you reach 18, you can decide whether you want to continue into higher education such as an apprenticeship, university or take a break and go into employment. 

If this is the right route for you then below are several ways that can guide you in the right direction:

There are a huge variety of career paths and job roles it may seem overwhelming but it's important to answer a number of questions before you make a decision, start by thinking about what is important or essential to you in a job? 

You already know what you want to do

If you know what career or job role you want to do then it's worth taking some time to do some research to find out what are your next steps: 

  • First, you should do some research on the job role, search on our Careers Directory and find out the jobs main tasks, average salaries and what qualifications you will need to get there. Some jobs may require another qualification or some sector experience, course, apprenticeship and job opportunities will be listed there. 

  • Take a look at Labour Market information. It's important to know about the sector and other top employment sectors in and around your area. 

  • Check out the Skills Framework, this sets out the key employability skills and attributes sought by employers from young people. When you come to apply for a job you will need to demonstrate your skills, the framework has a number of resources you can download to help you develop and track your skills and experience. 

  • If your research states that you need to get some sector experience you can visit our Work Experience Hub to find out what types of work experience are on offer and a step by step guide on how to gain some. Our Employer Spotlight lists all of Essex's top employers who you could contact for work experience. 
  • Ensure you explore other avenues- make sure you have looked at more than one job or career path, in case your first option doesn't work out.

Still Exploring Jobs and Careers

Knowing that you want to go into employment but you're not sure what sector or job role can be quite daunting. Don't panic! It's about finding an area that interests you and that you can gain experience, confidence and skills from. Remember there is always time to change your career route, so don't worry yet about whether you are going to enjoy it, you won't know until you test it out. 

Here are a few ways of finding a job or career path that could be your starting point: 

  • If you are completely blank when it comes to thinking about job or career paths that would suit you the best place to start is through a career quiz. Prospects has a Career Quiz that might help you narrow down a few options which you can then explore in more detail. 

  • Spend some time on our Careers Directory, either searching the results you got from the career quiz or searching through job categories. It will surprise you how many job roles you haven't heard of before, broadening your knowledge could lead you to stumble upon something that sparks an interest. 

  • Take a look at the Skills Framework of key employability skills and attributes sought by Essex employers from young people. Use it to identify your skills and link them to a job role or career path, Prospects has a Career Planner that finds these matches for you. 

  • Think about what you enjoy, this could be within or outside education, such as a club, a sport, a subject or a hobby. Then think about why you enjoy it? Do some research around that area and speak to whoever runs the club, sport or class for some advice and guidance on how to get into that area.
  • If you are still really uncertain and haven't made any progress in finding a job role or career path to explore then work experience might be the answer. Work experience is great for gaining new skills, testing out a job role, career or sector and finding out what you like and dislike. It also looks great on your CV and can lead to further employment, visit our Work Experience Hub to find out more.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What kind of work environment would suit me best? Indoors/outdoors? In an office? or more active?        

  • What kind of work would I prefer to be doing? More hands on? Or theoretical? 

  • Would I rather work with people or on my own?
  • Do I want to work for myself or someone else? 

  • What kind of salary do I want to have? 

  • How do I learn best? 


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