The Value of Work Experience

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A summer or part-time job pays more than money. Even though the money earned is important, the work experience gained has a greater long-term value when one applies for a full-time job after graduation from school. Job application documents (the application blank and the personal data sheet) ask you to list jobs you have held and to list as references the names of individuals who supervised your work. (Gieseking and Plawin, 1994,22)

As one young person was heard to remark, "You can't get a job with out experience, and you can't get experience without a job." That dilemma can be overcome, however, by starting work early in life and by accepting simpler jobs that have no minimum age limit and do not require experience.

Jobs that teens can do like delivering newspaper, babysitting, mowing lawns, assisting with gardening, and the like. Use these work experiences as springboards for such later jobs as sales clerk, gas station attendant, fast - food worker, lifeguard, playground supervisor assistant, and office staff assistant (after you have developed basic office skills). As you progress through these work exploration experiences, try increasingly to get jobs that have some relationship to your career plans. If,for example, you want a and summer work that gives you experience in dealing with people. (Hamel, 1989,10).

Gieseking, Hal, and Paul Plawin. 30 Days to a Good Job. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

Hamel, Ruth. "Making Summer Earnings Work for You." Use Weekend. 2-4 June 1989, 10-11
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