1/12: Youth Guide Intro

Whether you are looking to explore careers, find training, or just get resume assistance, this guide can help. With quick and easy steps, you will learn more, gain skills and knowledge, and be prepared for the road ahead. Get started today to get on the path to reaching your career, training and employment goals.

Use Illinois workNet tools to explore your career interests:

2/12: Setting Goals

When you start thinking about your future and your goals, you want to be doing something that you love and are interested in. With that in mind, you will also need to be able to support yourself in whatever career path you choose. The first step is exploring your skills and interests then using that to start exploring careers. You will find important information, like wages, trends, and training requirements. This information is key to making an informed decision on what you will pursue.

3/12: Presenting the Best You

Starting the job search process can be exciting and rewarding. You may think that it will be harder for you because you may have less job experience, but you may be surprised. School activities, clubs, sports, and more will help you succeed. The first step is to be sure that you are presenting the best "you" to potential employers and networking contacts. This will help you start on the right foot and make great lasting impressions.

4/12: Applying for Jobs

Now that you have created your winning resume, get it out there and start applying for jobs and getting interviews! Like your resume, a job application tells employers a lot about you. While searching for a job, you may encounter some postings or opportunities that seem too good to be true. The tips and information below will help you decide what is a good opportunity or not. Your resume and application have personal information, so being smart and safe in your job search is important.

5/12: Balancing Work and Play

Earning money is a great feeling. And spending your money is the easy part, right? Just make sure that while you are having fun, you are also being responsible. Creating a budget can help you get more out of your money and can help you reach your long-term goals.

6/12: How Youth Mentoring Can Help You

As the song goes, "we all need somebody to lean on." No matter where you come from in life, it's important to have a mentor. A mentor is a person who gives you guidance in your life and helps you grow as a person. However, more and more young Americans are growing up without one. If you're in need of some guidance, here are a few ways mentoring can help you.

7/12: High School Career Planning

​So…people are probably bugging you about what you want to do with your life.  

  • What are you going to do with your life?  
  • Where are you going to school?  
What may seem like causal conversation to them is stressing you out! You are just trying to get through finals. When you are stressed out, just remember that you do not have to have an exact plan of what you want to do with your entire life. However, it is time to do research and take action.

8/12: Why and Where to Volunteer - Young Adults

While you might be busy with school, extra-curricular activities, or work, you may also want to think about volunteering. Despite what you may think, volunteering isn't only for adults. Look around, and you can find opportunities and benefits for youth as well! Here are a few ways volunteering can be a great activity for you.

9/12: Get a Head Start on Your Career with Student Organizations

​Have you ever been in a club or other group at a school you went to? If so, you've been in a student organization! A student organization is what it sounds like – a group of students brought together by a common interest or goal. They go by many different names, like clubs and associations, but they're effectively the same thing.

10/12: Saving for and Buying a Car

Everyone needs a way to get around. Right now, many Americans live in spread-out areas like suburbs, where having a car is a must. Owning a car offers you the choice to go anywhere you need, at any time. However, a car is not a small investment and may be one of your first expensive purchases. It is important to have a good plan to save for and buy one.

11/12: Getting Started with Money Management

Landing your first job can be exciting. Since you are earning your own money, you can be more independent. You can buy things you need and want by yourself, instead of having to rely on others. However, you don't want to get carried away. It's easy to spend money when you have it but spending too much can lead to problems later in life. That's why it's important to learn how to manage your money at an early age.

12/12: Additional Resources

Preparing, training, searching, and qualifying are not the only things you need to do for a successful career. Use the resources in the learn more button and in the guides linked below to help you meet your employment and training goals.