I need to find some sort of long-term employment that will put me on my way to establishing financial independence from my family and also provide me with meaningful work experience. This is made difficult as I am eighteen, I only have a GED, and my resume leaves much to be desired. I do not have any prior work or volunteer experience, and nepotism is not an option. What should I be doing?
There’s some great advice in the thread, from a variety of perspectives. I like these comments (emphasis mine):
Don’t wait around for the pefect job to come along. Take any job to start off. Work at McDonald’s. Get a retail job. Do manual labor. Just get out there and WORK so you have money coming in and experience you can point to in the future. THEN, once you’ve been working for a few months, start to think about what line of work you really want to be in. If you wait around for the “perfect” job to come along, it never will.
I second getting any old job for the experience. But make the job work for you too. Don’t just punch the clock. Go over and above your job duties. Ask questions. Learn the business. Offer to take on extra projects if possible. If it’s a retail gig, ask to work the register, and the stocking, and the receiving, and security. If it’s a fast food gig, you can practice your customer service skills. Make friends with your managers, not as a way to suck up, but in a way that they will think of you in a good way when planning promotions or other personnel changes.
Do some research. Find out who the largest employers are in your state, region or city. Large employers have a variety of jobs, so even if you start on a loading dock, or grounds crew, you’ll be able to move into better jobs. Go to the nearest Job Center, and ask to meet with someone who can help you put together a simple resume, and teach you how to fill out applications. Employers want you to be reliable and hard-working. Get a job, any job, and work hard and be reliable. Be the person who’s always on time, ready to work, ready to have fun getting the job done, i.e., not complaining non-stop. You could think of a fast food job as a training job, just to get some practice.
The entire thread is filled with great advice for a person seeking an entry-level job.