3 things to look for in an all-important first job

Whether you're the parent of a young person or a recent graduate looking for a first job, you know that Canada's job market is rapidly changing. In order to adapt to all of these changes when searching for a job, experts suggest young people should look for opportunities that focus on three specific qualities that will help prepare them for the future.

1. Experience. It's a classic cycle. When young people need a job, they're told they don't have enough experience — but how can they get experience without a job in the first place? Paid internships and co-op placements can make all the difference, so when youth know the path they want to take with their career, it's recommended that they find an educational or training program that offers placement opportunities.

2. Networking. Many career-level jobs aren't posted publicly. That's why it's so important to meet as many people as possible in a given industry to get a foot in the door.

3. Skills. Instead of looking for a job that teaches industry-specific skills, it's becoming more and more important to build the so-called “soft skills” like communication, collaboration and problem solving.

Fortunately, there are organizations that are willing to provide young people with the opportunity to build these skills when they can't find a job that affords them the chance. One example is the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and their Raise the Grade program, supported by RBC Future Launch.

Raise the Grade is designed to provide skill development opportunities, mentors and support to high school students living in poverty. This includes academic support, which prepares them for higher education, and career discovery, which prepares them for work.