What’s in a Job?

Posted in: Bayshore Gardens Park - Recreation District

By Steve Van Cott, FL DOE/DVR Employment Specialist, School
District of Manatee County, Florida


A job is a chore that you have to do to improve your life.  When you were young, it may have been considered learning to speak, eat real food, become potty trained, learn to brush your teeth, and dress yourself.  Then as you began to accept responsibility, you helped out with household chores, like put your clothes into a hamper and cleanup the bathroom or do the dishes.  For students, your real and first job is to do well in school.  This is the first step to increase your chances for better, later successes.  High school is usually where students get their first taste of the working world, as it gets stacked on top of the academic world, being your first real job to earn a wage.


Your first job that generates a positive cash flow is often minimum wage and less than 20 hours a week.  That’s where you learned what was expected by employers.  If you are lucky, it gave you pocket change and maybe even helped you into or through college.  The more education you can obtain, the greater the likelihood of you earning a better wage.  Regardless of your education, you will still have to work.  It’s best if you do something you actually like to do.  It’s better if your job
requires specialty skills that most other people don’t have, yet education usually trumps artistry.  Where are you going to be in the job market, just a few years after you graduate?


Many of your friends will go off to college for a degree, or tech school to learn marketable skills, and some will even wait on the couch until an employer comes knocking on their door.  The latter usually results in law enforcement investigators knocking, rather than a potential employer.  Some you might know could even end up in jail, a short-time after graduating high school. 


To set yourself up for success, go to employflorida.com found on the internet and register as an “individual.”  Check out what you might like by doing the career inventory and apply for jobs now.  Of course you can wait until mom or grandma is too old to care for you and once you are about 40 years old, start looking then. 


Otherwise, you can start now and learn about the jobs that interest you, find the jobs that you might like.  Just because a friend does one kind of job, doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing.  Find out what you are good at and make money doing what you like to do.  If you wait until you are 40 years old or more then start looking for a job, you’ll find that you have no marketable skills, lack functional experience and have little, if anything at all to offer employers. 


Employers only hire people that have the kinds of experiences or skills that will promote and help their respective businesses.  If you have a job, you can always find a better one.  If you don’t have a job, it is very difficult and extremely competitive to obtain one.  Getting your first job is the toughest to accomplish. One job certainty is that there is absolutely no demand for couch potatoes.

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