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Getting my first job.

Grunty PanicGrunty Panic Registered User regular
edited January 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Sorry for making two help/advice posts without really giving much back in return, I'll try and write something that doesn't suck soon so I contribute to the Writers Block community, or, if I can, offer some advice of my own.

Anyway, on to the question: I'm sixteen, currently studying for my GCSEs and intending to go on and do As/A levels. After that, I'm hoping to move to America and, as far as possible, put myself through university. After doing a little research, I've come to understand that the only way that I'm going to be able to pay for university in America is by going on the game, so, in the name of spending as little time as possible with a stranger's penis in my mouth, I've decided that I'll go get a job and start earning some money now.

So, my question is; is it acceptable to walk into a store and ask the manager if they're looking for any extra weekend staff, and, if they are, could I possibly have an application form for an interview?

If they’re not looking for any extra staff, and assuming that I’ve left a good impression upon whoever it is I’m speaking to, would it be unusual to leave some contact information with them and ask that they contact me should any kind of position be made available?

Sorry if this seems like a kinda' weird question to ask; I don't know anybody who would have this kind of experience that I can trust.

Thank you for your time.

Edit: Also, any realistic advice as to what to shoot for? Would stacking shelves/working the register at Waterstones be totally out of the question?

Grunty Panic on

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    EndomaticEndomatic Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Of course it's acceptable.

    If you have a resume, you can always drop that off. It's better to try and do a meet and greet with the manager if you can. That way he or she will most likely remember you a little bit more when they're going over resumes.

    Endomatic on
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    Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I'll just assume your parents have jobs.
    Ask them for advice on what to do.

    While the people here can offer general advice that would be good for anyone your parents can probably help you out the most in learning to deal with the "real world" of jobs and such.

    Captain Vash on
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    As a store manager myself, I'll tell you that the people who come in, greet me, and communicate with me about what they're looking for, what they've done before, and are just generally nice are the ones I'll remember. Most managers will decide they want to hire you before the interview even takes place... that first impression is everything.

    As for the type of work, stocking shelves, stacking stuff, and register work are generally no problem for a first job. Even without experience, so long as you ensure you're good with math, you'll do fine.

    Shadowfire on
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    GrundlterrorGrundlterror Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Listen here, this has worked for me nearly every time. After handing in the application (and as Shadowfire stated, make a good first impression) ask when you should expect to hear back. If you dont hear from them before then, show the initiative and make the call (try to call when you think they won't be busy).

    Grundlterror on
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    Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Applying for the job is a good first step, but following up on your application is what will get you the interview and (hopefully) the job. Tons of people put in applications and are never heard from again. If you can somehow follow up with the employer - either by a phone call, email, or visiting them in person - you are much more likely to be remembered and called back in for an interview.

    Yes, it's true that some employers are annoyed by people who do this, but most of them view it as you showing initiative and that you are really eager to get the job. Every job I've ever gotten has been only because I followed up after I applied. For one job, I applied and had an interview in November of that year, and wasn't actually hired on until the end of February, almost four months later. My boss that hired me later told me that he wasn't initially going to hire me because I had so little experience, but the emails I'd sent him made an impression on him. When it came time to make the decision, my name stuck out in his head the most, and that's what ultimately landed me the position.

    Show that you really want the job, and SOMEONE will reward that enthusiasm.

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    Grunty PanicGrunty Panic Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Wow, thank you for all of this wonderful advice, I'm feeling so much more confident about this now.

    Captain Vash: Please see line thirteen of my original post. Thanks all the same though.

    I'll be looking for jobs tomorrow morning (I‘m all done with my mock exams, so, no school,) if the mods don't feel the need to lock this, I'll let you all know how it goes.

    Thanks again!

    Grunty Panic on
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    RookRook Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Sorry for making two help/advice posts without really giving much back in return, I'll try and write something that doesn't suck soon so I contribute to the Writers Block community, or, if I can, offer some advice of my own.

    Anyway, on to the question: I'm sixteen, currently studying for my GCSEs and intending to go on and do As/A levels. After that, I'm hoping to move to America and, as far as possible, put myself through university. After doing a little research, I've come to understand that the only way that I'm going to be able to pay for university in America is by going on the game, so, in the name of spending as little time as possible with a stranger's penis in my mouth, I've decided that I'll go get a job and start earning some money now.

    So, my question is; is it acceptable to walk into a store and ask the manager if they're looking for any extra weekend staff, and, if they are, could I possibly have an application form for an interview?

    If they’re not looking for any extra staff, and assuming that I’ve left a good impression upon whoever it is I’m speaking to, would it be unusual to leave some contact information with them and ask that they contact me should any kind of position be made available?

    Sorry if this seems like a kinda' weird question to ask; I don't know anybody who would have this kind of experience that I can trust.

    Thank you for your time.

    Edit: Also, any realistic advice as to what to shoot for? Would stacking shelves/working the register at Waterstones be totally out of the question?

    MY first piece of advice would be to ask every single person you know that works in any high street shop about any openings there might be. At 16 pretty much everyone else I knew got their job because of someone they knew who worked there rather than on the strength of an empty CV.

    Secondly, whilst stacking shelves in Waterstones may seem like a really good idea. Nice quiet bookshop, intelligent customers, not to busy etc.. everyone else is thinking the same thing. Chances are you won't get a job like that (not saying it isn't worth trying though). Be prepared for the worst if you really need money, but other good jobs are to be found in coffee shops, cafés, supermarkets etc

    Thirdly now is actually a fairly bad time of year, most places will have been looking for extra staff for christmas temping around oct/nov and will now have got rid of most of them, and kept on the couple of good ones they found.

    Out of interest, why not University in the UK? You'll have the government guaranteeing you a loan covering a lot of the living costs and all tuition fees. Not to mention the quality is generally very good in the UK.

    Rook on
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    Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    As has been said, it's perfectly fine to just walk into retail places and ask if they have any openings. Most will hand you an application on the spot. A lot of stores have been going towards an online or phone application before anyone talks to you, though. Wal-mart has these little kiosks in the store, Best Buy (one of the more sought after by young males retail jobs in the US) has a phone number that you call and take a ridiculous personality test, etc.

    Keep in mind that at most colleges to have tuition be anything close to reasonable you're going to have to be a resident of the state. Depending on the state this means having your permanent address (or some just require having a phone line... which still requires some sort of apartment or home) in the state for anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. This means surviving for that long without student loans on the pay of your retail job, which means having a roommate or two or living in a shit hole in most cases.

    There are a lot of temp agencies here in the US which may be able to get you something higher paying than your average retail job. Some of these may require a basic skill set like for technical support (those jobs usually don't expect much, it is very entry level) and some, such as data entry, frequently require little more than decent typing skills. You may be better off talking to one of them to find a job. What you may even want to do is get in contact with ones in the city you intend to move to shortly before moving.

    edit: Just noticed that I misread the OP. Thought you were wanting to wait until you got to the states before getting a job, so not all of this is relevant to your current situation.

    Jimmy King on
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    DayspringDayspring the Phoenician Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I'm not sure whereabouts you are but I did hear that Waterstones only employs graduates. I'm not sure how accurate this is or whether it varies from store to store, but, well, don't get disheartened if it's true and you get turned down I suppose.

    Dayspring on
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    Grunty PanicGrunty Panic Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Rook wrote:
    ...Thirdly now is actually a fairly bad time of year, most places will have been looking for extra staff for christmas temping around oct/nov and will now have got rid of most of them, and kept on the couple of good ones they found.

    Yeah, that's pretty much what everyone told me today. "Oh, sorry, we've just let go of all of the extra help, so we're not hiring right now. We'd be happy to take in a CV though." Which is fine, considering that I was just kinda' testing the water today, but, I'm not sure what exactly handing in my CV is going to accomplish, as I've literally nothing to put on it.

    I'll still be handing them out anyway, I just don't think they'll be getting me any interviews.

    Maybe florists will be hiring for Valentines day? XP
    Rook wrote:
    Out of interest, why not University in the UK? You'll have the government guaranteeing you a loan covering a lot of the living costs and all tuition fees. Not to mention the quality is generally very good in the UK.

    I want to get out of the UK as soon as possible. I'd rather not say why. I want to enjoy university. I want to enjoy being alive. Neither of those will happen while I'm trapped in the UK.[/emo]

    Besides, I don't want to miss out on meeting people.

    Thanks again for helping me out everyone, I'll save the thread so I can refer back to the advice later on.

    Grunty Panic on
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    RookRook Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Rook wrote:
    ...Thirdly now is actually a fairly bad time of year, most places will have been looking for extra staff for christmas temping around oct/nov and will now have got rid of most of them, and kept on the couple of good ones they found.

    Yeah, that's pretty much what everyone told me today. "Oh, sorry, we've just let go of all of the extra help, so we're not hiring right now. We'd be happy to take in a CV though." Which is fine, considering that I was just kinda' testing the water today, but, I'm not sure what exactly handing in my CV is going to accomplish, as I've literally nothing to put on it.

    I'll still be handing them out anyway, I just don't think they'll be getting me any interviews.

    Maybe florists will be hiring for Valentines day? XP
    Rook wrote:
    Out of interest, why not University in the UK? You'll have the government guaranteeing you a loan covering a lot of the living costs and all tuition fees. Not to mention the quality is generally very good in the UK.

    I want to get out of the UK as soon as possible. I'd rather not say why. I want to enjoy university. I want to enjoy being alive. Neither of those will happen while I'm trapped in the UK.[/emo]

    Besides, I don't want to miss out on meeting people.

    Thanks again for helping me out everyone, I'll save the thread so I can refer back to the advice later on.

    Yerr, empty CVs are a pain in the arse. Something you can do to fill it up is find some volunteer work, it might pay nothing, but being able to put down a reference, as well as filling in a few lines of that CV makes a world of difference when it comes to landing a job. And it can also be pretty fun, when I was 15 I worked with a charity for disabled kids taking them on day trips over the summer to ease the burden on the parents. There's a lot of really rewarding stuff out there to do.

    Rook on
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    QorzmQorzm Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I recently got my first job.

    I went in one day and was talking to the manager and was talking to him about upcoming titles (I work at GameStop), and was providing my own commentary on the state of games and stuff. I asked him if they were accepting applications and he said yes and handed me one, asked me my name and I left.

    The next day, I dropped off the application, reminded him my name, and I had an interview 2 days later.

    So, in short;

    First impressions are killer
    Go straight to the manager, make sure he knows who you are

    Qorzm on
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