You have never worked before, maybe you are a little older and would like to find a job now. This can be challenging, but there are opportunities – right now. Read our guide how to get into a job even without experience.
Why haven’t I ever worked?
It’s not uncommon for people to reach their 30s without ever having worked before. There are many reasons why someone may not have had the opportunity to enter the workforce, and each individual’s circumstances are unique.
Reasons why someone may have never worked before
Pursued higher education: One common reason for not having worked by the age of 30 or older is that the individual may have pursued higher education for an extended period. This could include obtaining multiple degrees, pursuing a Ph.D., or completing post-doctoral studies. In such cases, the individual may have been focused on their studies and not had the time or opportunity to work.
Health reasons: Another reason why someone may not have worked before is due to health reasons. The individual may have faced physical or mental health challenges that prevented them from working, or they may have been a caregiver for a loved one with health issues.
Caregiver responsibilities: Some individuals may have taken on caregiver responsibilities for a family member or loved one, which limited their ability to work. This could include caring for a child, elderly parent, or disabled family member.
Lack of job opportunities: In some cases, individuals may have faced challenges in finding job opportunities due to factors such as limited job openings in their field or location. They may have faced stiff competition for available positions or struggled to secure a job due to a lack of experience.
Economic factors: Finally, economic factors such as long-term unemployment or poverty can also prevent individuals from entering the workforce. They may have faced financial challenges that made it difficult for them to obtain the necessary skills or education to secure a job.
Regardless of the reasons, it’s important for individuals to focus on developing their skills and gaining valuable experience, whether through work or other opportunities, in order to improve their prospects in the job market.
Never worked before? That’s why a (re-)entry can be worthwhile now!
In Germany, there is currently a shortage of skilled workers in many industries. Many companies are desperately looking for qualified employees and are therefore open to applicants with unusual professional biographies. This means that even if you are older and have never worked, you still have a good chance on the job market. This fundamentally distinguishes the situation today from the situation a few years ago.
Prepare yourself systematically
Firstly, it is important that you correctly assess and present your skills and experience and prepare thoroughly for applications and interviews. There are companies that attach great importance to the fact that an applicant has a certain life experience and this can also be valuable to them in a certain way.
Secondly, you should look at which employers accept people with your biography and what opportunities you can have as a career changer.
When you believe you have limited chances of securing a job, consider focusing on the following types of job offers:
- Jobs in high-demand industries: Focus on industries or sectors with a high demand for workers, such as retail, customer service, or hospitality. These industries may have more job openings and may be more likely to hire individuals with limited experience.
- Entry-level positions: Look for roles that require minimal experience and offer on-the-job training. These positions often serve as stepping stones to more advanced roles and can help you gain valuable experience.
- Internships or apprenticeships: These opportunities provide hands-on experience and often include training and mentorship. While they may not always offer a high salary, internships and apprenticeships can help you develop your skills and potentially lead to full-time employment.
- Part-time or temporary jobs: Part-time or temporary positions can be a great way to gain experience and demonstrate your abilities to potential employers. They can also help you build a professional network, which could lead to more job opportunities in the future.
- Volunteer work: Volunteering can help you acquire new skills, gain experience in a specific field, and make connections with professionals. In some cases, volunteer work can lead to paid employment or serve as a valuable addition to your resume.
- Remote or freelance work: Remote or freelance positions can provide flexibility and allow you to work on a variety of projects. These roles can help you build a diverse portfolio and may be more accessible to those with limited job prospects.
By targeting these types of job offers, you can increase your chances of finding employment, gain valuable experience, and improve your overall employability.
How can I optimize my application?
You should adapt your application to the job advertisement and the expectations of the employer. Use terms from the job advertisement in your CV and cover letter. Also mention how your skills and experience match the requirements of the job. An individual adjustment of the application documents can help you to stand out from other applicants.
How can I prepare for a job interview?
Preparing for a job interview when you are older and have never worked can seem daunting, but with the right mindset and approach, you can increase your chances of success. Start by researching the company and the specific role you are applying for, which will help you better understand their expectations and tailor your responses accordingly. Reflect on your life experiences, such as volunteer work, community involvement, or personal projects, and consider how they have helped you develop relevant skills and qualities that can be applied to the job.
During the interview, you may be asked questions about your lack of work experience. Be prepared to address this by emphasizing your transferable skills, highlighting any relevant accomplishments, and demonstrating your eagerness to learn and adapt. Practice answering common interview questions, such as “Tell me about yourself,” “Why are you interested in this position?”, and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” by focusing on your unique qualities and experiences that make you a strong candidate.
When it comes to your demeanor and actions during the interview, it’s essential to maintain a positive attitude, show enthusiasm for the role, and exude confidence. Dress professionally, make eye contact, and engage in active listening to show respect and genuine interest in the conversation. Ask thoughtful questions about the company, the work environment, and the role itself, which will demonstrate your engagement and desire to be a part of their team.
Finally, don’t forget to follow up with a thank-you email, expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to interview and reiterating your interest in the position. This simple gesture can leave a lasting positive impression on the interviewer and set you apart from other candidates. By diligently preparing for the interview and showcasing your unique strengths, you can overcome the challenge of having no work experience and increase your chances of landing the job.
Several resources and individuals can help you prepare for a job interview. Here are some options to consider:
- Friends and family: Seek advice from friends or family members who have experience with job interviews. They can provide valuable insights, share their experiences, and even conduct mock interviews with you to help you practice.
- Career coaches: Professional career coaches can offer expert guidance and tailored advice on interview preparation. They can help identify your strengths and weaknesses, improve your communication skills, and provide strategies to tackle interview questions.
- Online resources: There are numerous websites, blogs, and video tutorials available that offer tips and guidance on job interview preparation. Websites like LinkedIn Learning, Indeed, and Glassdoor provide valuable resources, including common interview questions and answers, techniques for reducing interview anxiety, and advice on body language.
- Networking and support groups: Join local job clubs, career support groups, or online communities where you can connect with others who are also preparing for interviews. Sharing experiences, discussing challenges, and learning from one another can be highly beneficial.
- Local employment agencies or job centers: Some government-run employment agencies or job centers offer free interview coaching and workshops. These services can help you enhance your interview skills, build confidence, and provide you with useful resources for job hunting.
By exploring these options and seeking support from various sources, you can improve your interview skills and increase your chances of success.
One option is that you can contact a counsellor from the Employment Agency who will help you create your CV and cover letter. He can also give you tips on how to prepare for job interviews and find you suitable job offers. Make sure you only get offers that fit your particular situation. Have your counselor ask your employer if you could fit your bio. Only go to job interviews where your advisor has previously clarified that the employer would accept you in principle despite your biography. Save yourself other disappointments.
The Employment Agency also offers training that can help you improve your skills and qualify you for specific industries or positions. These training courses can also be financially supported. Here, too, the following applies: Give a new chance. Much has improved in this area and compared to the situation of a few years ago, you can now be more demanding and self-determined. However, it is always advisable to maintain a friendly-cooperative Stiul.
There are also financial support options that you can take advantage of as a beginner or re-entrant to make it easier to find a job and start in a new job.
It is therefore worthwhile to use the employment agency as a beginner or re-entrant in order to facilitate the search for a job and improve career opportunities.
How should I deal with the fact that I have never worked before to the employer?
If you mention to the employer the fact that you have never worked before, you should present this in a positive light and highlight your skills and experience that are relevant to the job.
One argument that can speak for you is that you are motivated and willing to familiarize yourself with the work. You can also mention that you are open to new challenges and can quickly familiarize yourself with new tasks.
You can also emphasize that you have experience from other areas that are relevant to the job. For example, if you have taken care of your family, you have experience in dealing with people and organizing tasks. If you have taken care of your health, you have experience in dealing with stress and strain.
Another argument could be that the fact that you haven’t worked yet makes you much more focused and committed to your work and can possibly be more productive.
Why can it be worthwhile to start working again at an older age?
It may be worthwhile to start working again at an older age, for several reasons:
- Financial independence: A regular income can help you be more financially independent and afford more.
- Social interactions: Work provides the opportunity to have social interactions with colleagues and clients, which is important for many people not to feel isolated.
- Mental and physical health: Work can help keep you mentally and physically fit, reducing the likelihood of health problems.
- Creating meaning: Work can help you have a sense of purpose and contentment, and give life a deeper meaning.
- Career opportunities: Even if you’re older, there are still opportunities to make a career and grow, and you can also work in a new industry or position.
- Personal development: Through work, you have the opportunity to develop yourself, learn new skills and face challenges.
- Pension protection: If you want to retire later, it may be worthwhile to work for a few more years to increase your pension entitlements.
So there are many good reasons why it can be worthwhile to start working again with older age. It is important to consider your goals, abilities and expectations in order to be able to make the best decision for yourself.