GRADE 12 pupils are done with their final year exams. So, what’s next for them?

Zabo Mhleli, from the student advisory department at Oxbridge Academy, a distance-learning institution, said: “With a summer job, you can get a foot in the door at junior level and build on this experience with every new job or responsibility you take on.”

He said that in the future, when you want to apply for your first big job, this will put you in a much better position than someone with zero experience.

Tips for school leavers

Find a job related to what you want to do

If you want to go into communications, then work as a waiter. Being a waiter brings with it a wealth of practise in dealing with the public.

If your dream is to become an engineer, then rather head down to the industrial side of town and find businesses that might be looking for a driver or someone who can help out and learn as an apprentice.

Identify specific skills that you can learn through work

No matter what type of work you’re going to be doing, you’re sure to have the opportunity to learn some transferable skills – that core set of skills that will be applicable in most industries and positions.

Make relationships and build your network

It is not about what you know, but who you know. Ensure that when you apply for your dream job, you have the required qualifications and knowledge to be able to perform your duties, but often, opportunities are identified through networks and relationships in the first place.

Work on your work ethic

People who demonstrate a willingness to work without complaining from day one are much more likely to make good progress in their careers right from the start.

Start strategising for your January job search now

Whatever your situation or reason for taking a summer job, if you are going to work, you can do more than just show up at work every day ready to do work.

You can make this job count in a way that will pay off well into the future if you go about it wisely,