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The world of work

This page includes information on a range of topics related to work. This includes:

Soon, we will also be adding information on:

  • work experience and employability skills
  • part-time and temporary work
  • local labour market information
  • employment law.

How to find out about different careers

For most adults, work is a significant part of their lives. The choices you make at key points during your education (in year 8 or 9, in year 11 and in your final year of college or sixth form) also affect what work you can do in the future. Therefore, when you’re young, it’s worth putting time and effort into finding what work may be a good fit for you.

There are lots of things you can do that will help you with this:

  • get to know yourself – find out your likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses
  • think about what is important to you in a job – eg hours, pay, progression, location, people
  • get work experience – your school should offer work experience placements or contact with employers; you can also volunteer or find part-time work
  • have hobbies and take part in after school activities – these can help you gain work related skills
  • talk to adults about their jobs and career paths
  • research jobs and career pathways online – see below for links
  • try out some online careers quizzes/ assessments – see below for links
  • attend careers events – one example is Skills London
  • speak to a careers adviser – they will have the latest information and are specially trained to help you decide what’s best for you.

Here are useful websites for finding out about different jobs. These also include careers quizzes or assessments, which can be a useful way of getting ideas.

  • National Careers Service – Government site
  • Start Profile – careers site aimed at young people, with an in depth careers assessment
  • icould – also aimed at young people, includes lots of videos and the ‘Buzz Quiz’
  • Prospects  – information on careers after university, includes useful advice on what degree subjects can link to what jobs.

Job hunting

Pretty much all of us will need to find and apply for jobs during our lives. This can include full-time work, part-time work (maybe whilst studying) or apprenticeships. Job hunting skills are actually essential life skills. As with any skill, the more you practise, the better you get.

Job hunting: where to find work

There are lots of ways to find work:

  • job sites
  • newspapers and magazines
  • word of mouth 
  • noticeboards
  • networking through family, friends or personal contacts
  • making ‘speculative’ applications to employers
  • Tower Hamlets Careers ServiceWorkPath and Jobcentre Plus 
  • employment agencies
  • staying with an employer after part-time, temporary or voluntary work
  • social media.

There are lots of job hunting websites, but here are some to start you off:

  • Jobcentre Plus ‘Find a job’ service 
  • Agency Central – find local employment agencies
  • Get In Go Far – find an apprenticeship
  • Get My First Job – aimed at young people
  • Student Job – aimed at students looking for part-time and temporary work
  • NHS Jobs – the NHS is a huge UK employer with a bigger range of roles than you might think
  • Jobs Go Public – public sector jobs in local government, education, housing etc (a huge number of UK jobs are in these sectors)
  • Indeed – the UK’s most popular job search site
  • Adzuna – pulls job vacancies from lots of different sources
  • Monster – another well-known job search site
  • Reed – well-known job search site and employment agency
  • Guardian Jobs – jobs for professionals and university graduates

When hunting for jobs, it’s good to be organised. Keep a list of what jobs you applied to and when, plus where you found the vacancies. This will help if you get invited for an interview and need to refer back to the job details. Also, if you applied for a job and didn’t hear back, you may want to follow up with the employer.

Some people find jobs through social media sites, such as LinkedIn [link to https://uk.linkedin.com/]. Even if you are not job hunting on social media, be aware that employers may search for your social media profiles to find out more about you. Therefore, it’s important to check your and online presence. Make sure there are no public posts, photos or other information about you that could look bad to an employer.

Interested in working for yourself? These sites have more information:

CVs, applications and interviews

There is lots of advice online about writing a CV, filling out job applications and preparing for interviews. You’ll also find books in your school/college library or local library. If you’re unemployed, advisers from Tower Hamlets Careers Service can give you face-to-face help too [link to ‘how to get help from us’].

Here are some useful online resources:

If you’re new to applying for work and are not successful at first, don’t worry and keep trying. Try to find out why you weren’t successful. Feedback from employers is really useful, as then you know what you need to improve. Job hunting is challenging, but the more you fill out application forms and go for interviews, the better you get at them.