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Career Advice for High School Leavers


Leaving high school can be daunting, especially if you aren’t sure what your next steps are. 

Especially if your friends or peers know what they want to do after graduating, it’s easy for you to get wrapped up in negative thoughts.

It’s essential to plan for your future career and learn everything you need to stand out from the crowd. 

Jobs That Don’t Need Experience

You may have focused on your studies at high school and now find yourself panicking as you have no experience.

However, here are some jobs that usually don’t require experience and can be the first steps into your career.

Customer Service Representative

  • The average salary is $36,648.
  • The lowest you will earn $24,000, and the highest is $47,000.
  • Candidates who see themselves as a “people person” who are confident speakers and good communicators are suited for the role.
  • You will be trained for this role to understand the company’s policies and way of work, but no further experience will be necessary.

Public Relations Assistant

  • The average salary is $46,569, and the lowest you’ll earn is $34k.
  • The highest salary you can earn is $64k.
  • Candidates out of high school will need to be a keen writer and a people person. 
  • Most companies in this career sector want fresh candidates to teach and mold employees into their standards. 

Care Assistant

  • The average salary is $33,220, the lowest you will earn is $20k, and the highest is $55k.
  • Applicants will have to be reliable, will need a valid driving license and like to care for the elderly. 
  • You might need a care certificate, but you can obtain this through on-the-job training.

Estate Agent

  • The average salary is $59,281, the lowest salary is $30k and the highest is $117k. 
  • Many companies hire trainees out of high school and teach them as they go along. 
  • Since this job runs on commission, you’ll get paid more as you meet more targets.

Sales Account Representative

  • The average salary for a sales account representative is $50,439.
  • The pay for applicants will range from a minimum of $30k to a maximum of $85k.
  • Good persuasion skills are needed, as well as being friendly and engaging. 
  • There’s a range of experience levels companies are looking for so look out for those that say entry level. 
  • Most businesses require a bachelor’s degree for this work; however, there are some exceptions.

Administrative Assistant

  • The general role is to deal with paperwork, make phone calls, deal with email correspondence, and scheduling. 
  • The average salary is $41,761, the lowest you will earn is $29k and the highest is $60k
  • Assistants may be asked to sit in on meetings and take notes or help prepare for major a project the company is working on. 

These jobs are especially good for those who aren’t sure what they want to do within a larger company as you will have day-to-day contact with multiple departments. 

After getting some experience learning how the business works from the bottom up, you may be able to move into a more specialized role.

Veterinary Care Assistant

A love of animals is key for this role. 

  • The average salary is $37,394, the lowest you’ll get paid is $20k, and the maximum is $70k.
  • Candidates would have to be OK with spending all day around animals and good with computers. 
  • Candidates will have to complete a certification.

Some animal hospitals and vet offices will allow their employees to learn on the job after leaving high school

Legal Secretary

  • Skilled writers are vital for this role working alongside lawyers and solicitors. 
  • The average salary is $58k, the lowest you will earn is £38k and the highest is $90k.
  • There are legal secretary jobs that require significant experience, but there are quite a few entry-level positions to be found. 

As you get more senior, you can up your earning potential and even train to become a paralegal.

Remember Motivation Plays a Big Part in Success

Don’t always go by average salary.

For example, don’t assume an engineering graduate who becomes an engineer will earn more than an English graduate who becomes a City lawyer.

Don’t go for a job just for the money, it’s much better you go for a job you have an interest in.

Always remember you have to start at the bottom to get to the top after leaving high school.

Don’t feel like you need university in order to succeed in any career.

If it isn’t for you then there are lots of other ways to build a career for yourself. 

Interviews can take many different forms:

  • You might have a video or telephone interview before you meet anyone face to face.
  • You may be invited to a first interview followed by a final interview, or be given interviews that focus on different areas such as your skills or technical knowledge.
  • You could be interviewed by one or two people and your interviewer(s) could be a senior partner, a member of the HR team, or your manager.
  • You could also have a trial shift 

You can find more interview tips here.

In any job, you start there’s always a three-month probation period 

Competency interview questions are widely used as interview question focuses on your skills and competencies and aims to find out if you are a good match for the role.

They often start ‘Give me an example of a time when you…’ or ‘Tell me about a time when you…’.

  • -Prepare yourself by finding out more about the skills and competencies most employers seek. Make sure you know if there are any skills and competencies the employer is particularly keen on, and check what’s required for the career role you are applying for. 
  • Come prepared to discuss times when you’ve shown the competencies they are looking for. 
  • For example, if you are asked about teamwork you could bring up your involvement in sports teams or voluntary organizations such as the Guides or Scouts.

READ MORE: 9 Key Questions You Need To Answer In Your Job Interview

Reasons to choose an apprenticeship 

  • You will gain the right skills and experience suited for you and your choice of career path
  • You earn money whilst learning 
  • You will have guidance and support throughout 
  • You will gain a professional qualification 
  • Stay ahead of graduates as you will have practical work experience 
  • No debts, tuition fees, or other costs like university 
  • Learn from the real experts 
  • Connecting with different people on a day-to-day basis 

What to include in your CV:

  • Personal details and contact information – this is essential.
  • Education – again, essential. If you have done a relevant training course you could highlight this by using ‘Training’ as a separate heading.
  • Career history and work experience – another must-have. You could present this as two separate sections.
  • Voluntary work and work experience. You could give this its own separate heading, create a ‘Work experience and voluntary work’ section, or give details of your voluntary work in your ‘Interests’ section.
  • Skills – When you are describing your work experience and voluntary activities, look for ways to highlight skills such as communication and teamwork. If you have specific relevant skills, you can draw attention to them by putting them in a section of their own.
  • Strengths and achievements. You could give these a section of their own, or cover them in the other sections.

More CV writing tips can be found here

In a CV do not:

  • Lie
  • Waffle 
  • Don’t be too fancy or too informal

And ALWAYS check spelling and grammar.

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