5 sectors to consider when looking for a job after high school

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A candidate gives her CV to an HR manager
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According to a 2019 Stats SA report, more than half of youth aged 18 to 24 cannot afford to pay tuition fees for higher education institution learning.

For many, this means they’d have to take a gap year after matric or find a job instead -  and with work experience being a requirement for most jobs -  this can prove to be difficult.

However, head of brand marketing at Gumtree, Estelle Nagel, says landing a good entry-level job without experience depends on where you’re looking.

She shares job sectors in which post-matriculants can consider getting employment with no experience.

1. Sales

“Sales representatives are responsible for identifying potential customers and selling company products. A company would usually offer you a fixed basic salary, but the great thing about sales is that the opportunity to make more money exists in the commission structure. This means that your salary can be high or low depending on how much work you put in,” Nagel says.

“Sales positions often require you to have a driver’s licence and your own vehicle to get around, so keep this in mind when applying,” she adds.

2. Customer service

Nagel says, “Companies and recruitment agencies are always on the lookout for people to join their customer service arena. The requirements usually include a completed national senior certificate and basic telephone etiquette. These jobs tend to operate on shift-basis as many local companies serve international clients which operate in different time zones, or customers may require 24/7 support.”

3. Retail

“Much like customer service,” Nagel says, “working in the retail sector also has to do with interacting with customers – only in this case it is physical interaction by greeting and assisting customers in a store. This type of work requires you to be on your feet most of the day and possibly work on weekends or public holidays too.”

4. Internship (applies to any sector)

Nagel defines an internship as an employer who offers a potential employee, called an intern, the opportunity to work for a company for a specific period.

“Not only is it an easy way to gain experience in a particular field but can also lead to permanent employment. It is also worth remembering that internships can either have a fixed stipend, or the employer may even expect you to work for nothing in exchange for experience, so make sure that this fits in with your personal requirements,” she says.

5. Learnerships (applies to any sector)

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) describes a learnership as a work-based learning program that leads to an NQF registered qualification. These learnerships are directly related to a specific field of work and are managed by Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs).

A learnership allows learners to work and get started on their careers, while also earning a qualification and an income. Clicks and a number of other companies in different sectors offer learnerships.

Nagel also advises first-time job seekers to look for these jobs online.

“Online classified sites like Gumtree are updated with thousands of job entries every day, increasing job seekers chances of landing a job they will love and grow in,” she concludes.

Sources: Statistics SA, Gumtree, South African Qualifications Authority

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