Most of us find our first job when we are 16 years old.  What are jobs for 16 year olds?  How do you land one quickly if you’ve never worked before?  This article gives an effective 7-step formula to get a job quickly.  And good news: you might not have to settle for fast food or other entry level jobs.


Step 1: Know Your Interests and Strengths


You might be thinking, but I’m 16!  True, but you’ve had many life experiences that already have brought out your talents and natural gifts.  It’s much easier to do a job that uses your natural strengths and interests because your heart is in it.


Think of all the times you’ve done any type of work well.  What did you get complimented on?  What type of work did you enjoy?  If you could show up to work anywhere, where you show up that most interested you?  Why?  Give this some thought and you’re already half way there to landing something that might be better than anything that’s available.


Step 2: Prepare


Preparation includes writing a resume and the little things like having voice mail to make sure someone can get a hold of you.  Your resume doesn’t need to be lengthy but it should reflect your skills, any experience you have, school attended, and any volunteer work you’ve done.


Identify 3 people you can use as references.

 Parents don’t count, but think of non-family members that can speak to your character.  Have that information ready.


Also, decide ahead of time the kind of work you want, absolutely won’t take and why, the hours you are willing to work, how far you are able to travel for a job, or other constraints.  That will draw some boundaries around your job search.


Step 3: Apply Online


Search the part-time job sites and apply to everything that fits your target.  Keep in mind your strengths and your boundaries.


Step 4: Apply Face-to-Face


Once you’ve applied to the online opportunities, start talking to people at malls or other places where they might hire you.  I realize this might feel a bit awkward, but it doesn’t matter how you feel.  I’m surprised at many jobs happen because someone asked “are you looking for help because I’d love to work here.”  Sometimes it’s that simple.  Be clean, courteous, and have a good attitude.


Step 5: Work Your Social Network


Yes, Facebook is good for something other than sharing pictures of your dog.  Let the people in your social network know that you are looking for work.  Most jobs are not advertised and most employers prefer to hire employees, especially part-time, quickly.  That means they want to trust current employee referrals rather than have to sort through a bunch of resumes without anyone knowing the potential employee.


Step 6: Keep Track


Keep track of who sent resumes to, who you talked to, especially if you need to follow up with them.  Follow up matters.  Often they may not have an opening right at that moment, but if they want you to check back, make a note of it and check back.  And you’ll stand above the crowd when you do.  Keep track so that you be more effective in following up a second time.


Remember that you stand above the crowd when you follow up since most people don’t do this very well.  And don’t forget to sell yourself by letting them directly that you can do the job and want a chance to show them how impressed they will be with you.


Step 7: Expand Your Options


If usual job board opportunities aren’t dropping in your lap by now, you may need to consider work-at-home opportunities.  Yes, there are legitimate data entry, home assembly, writing, and related jobs you can do from your home.  Avoid jobs that sound too good to be true (they probably are) or that don’t use your unique gifts and talents.



Milo Allen is an executive coach and management consultant who enjoys helping others find work.  Learn more at


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