Though it’s a rarity for any part-time job to absolutely require a serious amount of experience, it can be extremely valuable to have some. But it can be hard to get the experience you need to give you the edge over everyone else applying for a job if you can’t find a job to get some experience in the first place. Hence, the experience paradox. In this article, I hope to give a few useful suggestions for you people hunting for your first job.
It’s extremely important to remember that typical part-time work will require you to have skills that are easily developed outside of a part-time job. As such, the most important piece of advice I can offer you is:
Get some hobbies
Hobbies are the easiest way to bulk out your resume and give you something to talk about during your interview but most importantly, the experience you’ll gain in dealing with people from more sociable hobbies is invaluable. If you can find a hobby group that you’re interested in, then you’re in luck. For the most part, all part-time jobs will be looking for proof that you’re friendly and responsible, and a hobby group is excellent proof.
Volunteering is the next step up on the ladder of responsibility. If you can find a volunteer position in a charity shop, then you’ve effectively proven to a potential employer that you’re already capable of doing the job (or at least a retail job). Volunteer positions can be an excellent way to meet people who may be able to recommend you for a job as well. Lots of volunteer positions will be employing older people who are looking for a way to pass the time in their old age. These people may have friends who own stores or other businesses that you could work at. It’s worth remembering the golden rule of finding a job: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
No experience required jobs
Some workplaces are more than happy to hire people with zero experience, typically because it means that they’re naive enough to think it won’t be horrible. However, even if you only stick it out for a while, it can be more than enough experience to get your foot in the door with other larger employers. It might seem a bit depressing to think that you’ll have to work your way up the part-time ladder (especially since that sentence sounds ridiculous), but it’s a lot better than spending several months searching for a job to no avail when you could easily spend that time working a job for some experience.
The places that are more likely to hire people with zero experience are larger chains. A good starting point for finding these places is asking your friends where they work. The entry requirements for a part-time job entirely depend on where you live. McDonald’s is always a safe bet though, as are large retail chains.