With your first job, you’re beginning to understand the world of work and gaining valuable experience. You’ll probably remember it for a long time. First jobs establish a sense of responsibility and help you figure out your interests. And, of course, you’re earning money!
To begin working, first you’ll need to get a few things in order.
Writing a resume is an important way to let employers know about your skills. When you’re just starting out your resume may be brief, but there are definitely details you can include. Think about your after-school activities, clubs, and personal projects—all great things to add to your resume.
Create your resume
Putting together a resume can be challenging, even if you’ve been working for years. There are resources to help you get it right.
Visit a local library branch—they often hold resume workshops.
Check out Career Zone for exploring careers and building your skills.
Choose the Right Kind of Work
Finding the right job depends on your skills and interests, how many hours you can work, and which benefits you need (credit for school, health insurance, etc.). Be sure to choose a job that’s right for you.
Part-time jobs – Part-time jobs allow you to work a few hours a week, earn money, and get professional experience to build your resume.
Full-time jobs – If you’re out of school, you may consider taking a full-time job. You’ll generally make more since you’re working more hours. Most full-time jobs offer benefits such as health insurance and savings options like 401(k) plans.
Internships – Internships are a great way to get professional experience. Some are even paid!
Volunteering – Volunteer positions are not paid, but you get valuable experience to add to your resume—and maybe class credit. Volunteer for a cause or an organization you’re passionate about!
Summer jobs – Summer jobs are a great way to spend your time away from school, gain some experience, and earn money.
Make sure to learn about your rights to minimum wage, overtime, sick leave, and more by checking out the Workers’ Bill of Rights.
Advance & Earn: A program for youth to increase reading and math skills to take high school equivalency tests and get job training, certifications, and paid internships.
Ladders for Leaders: Paid summer internships for high school and college students ages 16 – 22 with previous work experience. If you qualify, you’ll be working at a top NYC corporation, non-profit, or government agency.
High school students and youth 17-21 can also gain career skills through Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes at certain schools or at the School of Cooperative and Technical Education (Coop Tech).
When you get your first paycheck it might be less than you were expecting. Here’s why:
Paycheck deductions are not fun, but they’re a part of life. Deductions can include city, state, and federal taxes, health insurance (if you’re on your employer’s health care plan), Social Security and Medicaid taxes, and more. Some employers offer pre-tax benefits, such as money for your MetroCard—which is deducted from your paycheck if you choose that option.
You also need to understand your options for getting paid:
Most jobs offer options on how you can be paid, usually by paper check or direct deposit. With direct deposit, your salary goes directly into your bank account. It’s a good way to save check cashing fees and avoid the extra step of having to deposit your check. Either way, be sure to review each pay stub to make sure no mistakes were made.
Open a savings account
You can open your first savings account with NYC SafeStart at participating banks across all five boroughs. Program features include:
no overdraft fees
no monthly fees if you keep your account above the minimum required balance