My experience of babysitting has taught me two things. 1, that nappies are pretty people-friendly (thank you, Huggies) and 2, that one
ought to be prepared for the situations they throw themselves into. “You know how to change a nappy, right?” Right..
I had to realise my motto – to nod, and freak out later – was unlikely to work the same wonders as it had in the past. At fifteen, my family friend suggested me
for my first real job. It would be in an office – administrator type stuff. “She’d like to meet you this afternoon,” my friend sprung on me. Note: even if it’s not
labelled an interview, if your next potential boss wants to see you in person and ask you questions, it is an interview. It’s also a whole different ball game from
babysitting. Firstly, we’ll no longer get away with wearing a baggy jumper and jeans to work. And secondly, 99% of the time, in terms of freaking out,
there will be no ‘later’. Welcome to the rite of passage of working. To cross, we’ll need three things – a smart wardrobe, Rexona Invisible Dry, and
not just our strengths, but the knowledge of them.
Let’s start with a smart wardrobe. The way we dress, apart from our god-given appearance and how we hold ourselves, is the first thing an interviewer sees.
By nature, these one dimensional aspects sadly but truly, base the initial thoughts of a person. We should aim to dress two ways in this situation – both well,
and differently. Let’s be honest, 95% of us teenagers look exactly the same. We feel safe in sports gear. Our ‘risky’ is jeans and a top, a new colour of Converse.
Dress differently, and you’ll appear different. Sure, wear jeans, but match them with a shirt or blouse. Loafers, or boots. A blazer, to say unlike other teenagers,
we’re not immature, incompetent or lazy. We’re sophisticated, smart and well, if we don’t get this job, we’re likely to accept position as youngest First Lady.
At some point, we should take the blazer off anyway. Remind them that we’re genuine, we know we’re young and we’ve got things to learn.
We haven’t made it yet. The next prep tip, however, applies to even those who have.
We tend to focus on fears that demand daily attention. Take tripping in public, for example. That’s a fear that comes to life enough to lose it’s
humour. However, just like we ought not to underestimate shy people, sweating is a smug fear that too waits to pounce. It lives off the shock factor.
Never afraid of arriving at too inconvenient of a time. Nor to remind you of it’s equally embarrassing presence. To beat it at it’s own game, I’ve been
using Rexona Invisible Dry. Not only does the deodorant’s tagline satisfy the feminist in us all, “the only thing that should be invisible about a women
is the deodorant on her clothes”, but it also means we can choose to sport a white shirt over the black one we may have settled for. The spray is full of
confidence, which regular readers know I’m all about. Furthermore, if we trip into the room, at least we won’t have to worry about big sweat patches or
deodorant stains in addition.
Finally, before even stepping into an interview room, it’s important we know our strengths. The whiteness of our blouses aside, it’s this that will knock the
‘teenage’ label from beside our name. It’s this that will encourage an interviewer to compare us, not below, but alongside anyone else. If you’ve got something
impressive about you, share it. It’s time we exploited our own youth – I tell you, there’s many others who wish they could. The only people shaking their heads
at the ‘online generation’, will be those also up for the job. Social media, technology? We got it. Experience? Perhaps not, but here’s the selling point.
We’ll do things to the way of the workplace and only the way we’re taught. There will be no stubborn comments that begin “at my old job…”.
Instead, we’ll learn fast. We’ll work hard. Best of all, we’ll still have a fresh face afterwards.
Let’s stand on our own two booted feet, iPhone proudly in hand, the fact that we run businesses, and develop apps in mind.
It’s time to stride with youth on our side into our own job. Even if for now, that just means Saturdays at the local supermarket.