Discover the joys of work

You shouldn’t spend all your teenage years worrying about work, but it’s a good idea to

  • Get a part-time or holiday job
  • Spend some time thinking about your future career

You may want or need to work full-time as soon as you can (from the age of about 16), but try to learn as much as you can while you’re working. In England you will still need to do some sort of education or training until you’re 18.  Being an apprentice allows you to work while also learning a new skill. This article gives a very useful explanation of what is involved.

Part-time and holiday jobs

A part-time or holiday job will give you useful extra money, expand your experiences of life, and teach you useful life skills. This  will increase your confidence and make you more attractive to employers when you come to look for full-time work in the future. Look through our list of suggestions and see if you can find something you like. You may even find inspiration for your future full-time career.

Working holidays can be a cost-effective way to travel; find out more about opportunities in the UK and abroad.

(Volunteering will not give you money, but it will give you useful confidence and experience, and the satisfaction of doing some good. Find out more about it here.)

thinking about your future career

You might not be sure about a career or know what you want to do with your life. Have a look at the job profiles on the National Careers Service and Prospects websites or check out Future Finder. If you do find something that appeals to you, make sure you get the qualifications and experience you need to achieve your goals – check out our education pages for more.

Work experience can be a useful way to learn about certain jobs. Unfortunately, most work experience is unpaid, so make sure you get something worthwhile for your efforts and are not being exploited. See our page below.

We’ve included a page on job applications and cvs to help you when you apply for jobs. You might also want to look at our pages on employment rights, good relationships with employers and effective communicating.