Getting a head start on your “work history”

Getting a job can be scary if you’ve been playing video games and writing your blog for the last couple of years. Especially difficult is getting a job as a teenage homeschooler (even I didn’t find real work until I was already an adult). Even scarier: the most difficult part of the ordeal is not the school you go to but the jobs you’ve already had. Counter-intuitive, right? It’s a catch 22: you need the skills to get the jobs to get the skills.

Luckily, they’re a lot of ways to fill out your resume without actually having an eight-to-five job. Why don’t we look at just a few?

“I have an idea. What if we hired people… but for FREE?”

Did you know people compete for internships? That’s only a step above competing for the chance to volunteer at your local YMCA. It baffles me, but it’s a testament to the viciousness of the modern job market. There’s so many kids out there in your situation that you have to prove you can work for no pay BETTER than they can.

Still: if you can land one – especially in a field you want to work in – go for it. Internships are a huge deal on a resume. Sure, some pay out, but that’s not the point. An internship at a stressful IT job, for example, shows you not only can punch computers until they work but are willing to do it all day for little or no pay.

“Well… students ARE more desperate than professionals…”

Internships are obvious, but here’s one I didn’t expect. At my community college, there’s all sorts of openings for students to help out around campus and get paid for it My friend in NYC even got a job working on his college’s community farm this summer.

Of course, there are trades which are not as valuable to a college administration, and I’m sure larger, more prestigious colleges don’t need students to fill half their staff. On the other side of the coin, there’s “working colleges” like Berea College in Berea, KY which let you work for your education there instead of paying highway robbery prices and calling it “tuition.”

“Screw it, this girl’s undercutting us even without employees! We can’t beat her.”

Did you know? When those online applications ask for an employer’s name, they don’t reject your entry if that name is yours.

I was self-employed as a local computer troubleshooter throughout high school and made decent money maintaining websites, removing viruses and photoshopping people out of family pictures until, this year, I finally found a solid, part time IT job. The skills you gain in marketing your own business carry over when marketing yourself to employers. Plus, with websites like Etsy gaining popularity, getting money is easier than ever for independent workers and crafters.

All this goes to show is you don’t need a work history to have a work history section on your resume. Good luck getting a job in today’s toxic job market, and check back next week for more subversive advice from the Homeschool Survivor!


The Homeschool Survivor is a self-proclaimed “real nerd” who considers leaving his USB drive at home a national emergency. He was homeschooled for most of his life and loved it (to the extent one can “love” school).

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