RELAX AND RECHARGE
SCHOOL leavers are encouraged to make the most of the summer holidays by relaxing and having fun – although some planning for the future will not go astray. An estimated 60,000 young Queenslanders undertook Year 12 in 2018 and will be starting their careers next year.
Career Development Association of Australia national president Wanda Hayes says the next few months likely will be the longest, most carefree holiday break they will ever experience, so it is important that they enjoy it.
“They worked really, really hard to get to the end of school,” she says.
“It’s important that they do enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a really long holiday, without much of a care in the world.”
Those planning on future study will now have between eight and 12 weeks off before semester 1 begins, while most of those who already have secured an apprenticeship are likely to not start for another five weeks.
Once in the workforce, most employees only receive four weeks of annual leave a year, and few will take this period in one block.
Hayes says those intending to spend summer earning money in a seasonal job, such as a lifeguard or Christmas casual retail position, will need to have the role locked in now.
However, they can look at starting another position that may see them through their first year post-school.
“While there’s no preparation required for them to go on to further education, if that’s what they’re doing, getting a part-time job that will carry them through their further studies is always a good idea,” she says.
“If they want to be a lawyer (for example) but they’re working in a fast-food joint, it’s okay – it’s not the work you do, it’s about being a worker and understanding that adult role of being responsible, that’s always a good thing.”
Young workers also gain employability skills such as customer service and teamwork in many part-time roles, which will make them attractive to employers when they do go looking for their first full-time job.
“Some school leavers will be searching for full-time jobs already, and they’ve got a lot of work to do to secure that first role,” Hayes says.
“They need to be creative and patient about how they go about their job search.
“Those entry-level jobs can be hard to get, they should be patient and persevere and stay strong and use their networks – sometimes just a casual conversation with a neighbour about the kind of work they are looking for can lead to (opportunities).”
There also may be summer recreational activities school leavers will participate in that may be a useful addition to their resume. Being a member of a sporting team or volunteering are among the fun ways students can prove they are responsible workers.
HARD WORK: School leavers Candice Cheng, Sarah Turner and Edward Sims ponder their futures after a big Year 12.