Stand Out or Sit Down: Stories and Lessons for Teens and Young Adults to Find a Job They Love


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It’s tough enough to be a teen or young adult looking for a job during good economic times. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, where unemployment numbers reached their highest in our country’s history since the Great Depression, finding a job may seem downright impossible. But there is good news, because employers are still hiring, and entry-level jobs and internships are still high in demand. It’s also important for young people to look ahead, because the pandemic will end. And when it does, those who have coupled their marketable skills with solid job-searching preparation will be more successful in finding a job they love than those who have not.

Stand Out or Sit Down offers time-tested techniques that have helped thousands of young jobseekers overcome their unique obstacles: balancing school-work-home commitments, overcoming a perceived lack of work experience, managing various levels of parental involvement, and using and misusing technology, just to name a few. Succeeding in a job begins by finding the right job for them—not just any job. Self-assessment, networking, researching job opportunities, using technology to their advantage, properly completing job applications, resume writing, and interviewing are all taught with the young job seeker in mind.

For example:

  • How do they complete an application or construct a credible resume with no prior work history?
  • Why is going in person to pick up or drop off an application their best shot at landing an interview?
  • How do they create the opportunity to speak to a hiring manager, and when given that opportunity, what should they say and how should they present themselves?
  • How do they develop a compelling 30-second commercial?
  • What’s the proper way to quit their current job?

A fun and easy read, Stand Out or Sit Down encompasses true stories of others their age who have undergone the job search process and enjoyed rewarding successes but also endured disappointing failures. What are some common practices that will bring an early end to their efforts?

  • Dressing too casually even when picking up an application.
  • Empty or incomplete sections on an application.
  • Waiting for a phone call after they apply.
  • Inappropriate voice mail greetings and social media posts.

The list goes on.

Stand Out or Sit Down also gives a voice to the thousands of employers whose businesses depend on the youth labor force. Most are happy to employ and mentor the young but have serious concerns about young workers’ lack of preparation for the working world. Their stories about young job applicants are also told to convey their concerns, expectations, and insider advice.