13 useful things to do while looking for your first job

  1. Use Careers New Zealand’s useful website advice about job hunting when work is scarce.
  2. Ring our helpful Advice Line on 0800 222 733 for ideas on how to progress.
  3. Take over running the household. Learn how to plan shopping, do the laundry, cook meals – these are useful life skills that also give you a sense of contribution to the household and a framework for your day. You can use this on your CV to demonstrate you have skills employers want, such as ‘planning and organising’, ‘literacy and numeracy’, ‘problem solving’ and ‘good work habits’.
  4. Get your driver’s licence – if you’re still living at home, be nice to your parents and ask them to teach you to drive.  Having a licence opens up more chances of getting jobs.
  5. Do a first aid course – this shows committment to wider society and the ability to study and persist.
  6. Enrol in a community education course to learn a new skill – it may lead to a job idea, and it shows you’re willing to learn.
  7. Enrol in a free online course. Choose from those in New Zealand (many polytechs offer these) or anywhere in the world.
  8. Visit the local library – read the paper, get out CDs (if this isn’t too old school). Read magazines you can’t afford to buy. Keep in touch with the world and use some of our valuable free assets.
  9. Help a friend or family member someone in need – gives a sense of perspective on life’s difficulties.
  10. Volunteer at a local charity – it’s way better to have volunteer experience on your CV than no experience. It’s a safe way to try things out and a good research tool for exploring what you like – and, just as importantly, don’t like – in fact – there are at least 10 good reasons to volunteer!
  11. Make a regular committment to learning and practicing something while you have the time – join a sports team, go for regular runs, practice a musical instrument,  read good books, – build up discipline while doing something enjoyable.
  12. Learn how to make home-made presents and cards. Sweets, biscuits, bath salts… save money, enjoy being creative and do something for someone else.
  13. Establish a family tradition of practicing gratidue. Look for three good things every day. This simple exercise leads to increased health and a lower focus on material goods.


  1. Peta Pollock

    Love you blog. Sensible real and practical help. Thank you for sharing

    • Patricia Laurenson

      Thanks Peta :-).

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