High school graduates have many choices to consider when deciding what to do for the next few years of their life. Some options are the following:
Join the military
Attend a post-secondary school
Apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship
Volunteer (see below)
High school graduates may decide that they want to find full-time employment and start bringing home a regular paycheck. Certain things should be done before beginning the job hunt.
Discover your interests. Reflect on past part-time jobs, volunteer work, and everyday tasks that were enjoyable.
Explore job options. Find out what types of jobs are available to high school graduates who have little or no further training.
Conduct informational interviews. Sit down and talk to someone who is currently working in a job that might be of interest.
Network. Ask friends, family, and neighbors if they have any connections to help find a job. This may be the best way to find employment, because the majority of jobs are not advertised.
With some of the initial work out of the way, it is time to start getting organized.
Write a resume. Be sure to stress education, part-time and summer jobs, clubs, and awards.
Locate job openings. Use a combination of the following resources:
Family, friends, and neighbors
Apply for a job. This usually means submitting a cover letter, resume, and job application.
Prepare for the interview. Research the company and job before going on the interview. Also, rehearse some answers to possible interview questions.
Follow-up. Write a thank you note. This helps remind employers who you are and lets them know that you are still interested in the job.
Join the Military
The U.S. military has five separate services: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy. The military trains people in many occupations. Each of the military services actively recruits for both enlisted and officer positions. Every recruit signs a legal contract for eight years of duty. Usually, two to six years are spent on active duty. The rest are spent in the Reserve forces.
After basic training, enlistees will receive technical or job training. This training prepares the enlistee for a job in the military. Many military occupations involve skills that can be useful in civilian jobs. Service members receive basic pay, allowances, and benefits for serving in the military. Tuition assistance at colleges and universities is also available.
Each of the military services recruits independently and sets its own enlistment standards. However, the following general enlistment qualifications are the minimum standards set by the Department of Defense. Each service may choose to have higher standards than are listed here. Sometimes services make exceptions to these qualifications.
U.S. citizen or an immigrant legally admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence
18 years old or older (or age 17 with consent of parent or legal guardian)
High school diploma or GED
Achieve minimum scores on the ASVAB test
Good health and pass medical exam (minimum height, weight, and vision requirements also exist)
Good moral standards
For more information about joining the military, contact:
Many options exist for those who want to receive formal training or education past high school. Types of post-secondary schools include:
Four-year colleges and universities
CCC or California Conservation Corp
Students can work toward earning:
An apprenticeship might be a great option for those interested in receiving supervised work experience, a classroom education, and a paycheck. An apprentice works with an experienced worker to learn a skilled trade like carpentry or plumbing. The apprentice receives training both on the job and in the classroom.
Joint employer and labor groups, individual employers, and employer associations sponsor apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships generally last about four years, but range from one to six years. The pay that an apprentice receives increases progressively over time.
See Mrs. Trammell in the counseling office for more info
Our local community has many areas that students can volunteer in. Elverta Parks and Rec are always looking for volunteers. If interested, please contact Tina Geer at Email. This is a great way to earn knowledge and working experience, as well as looking great on college applications! Another way to volunteer locally is through the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber hosts many events throughout the year. The Little League Parade is on March 31st this year (2012) and on May 5th, there is a craft fair at the Food Source Shopping Center. They could always use help at their annual Holiday Social in December as well. You can contact them through Email. The Rio Linda Historical Society has many events, as does the Food Closet and Kings Garden. The Lions club is always looking for help within the community. For more information- stop in the counseling office and see Mrs. Trammell.
Some people may decide to take the time to give back to their communities by volunteering. Volunteers gain valuable skills and meet new contacts that can help lead to future employment. Volunteer opportunities are endless but may include tutoring and mentoring kids, building homes, or responding to national disasters.
AmeriCorps is an organization where people can participate in volunteer activities while receiving a modest living allowance, health insurance, and training. Some programs even provide housing. Members can choose the type of program and the location where they want to serve. Full-time and part-time assignments are available. After completing one year of full-time service, AmeriCorps members receive an education voucher that can be used to cover future costs of college or vocational school and pay back student loans.