Finding your first job

Job hunting as a teenager can be daunting – it’s hard to know where to start and what role will be best for you. Here are some tips to help you get ready.

Chat to someone you trust

It’s important to make sure you can balance your job with the other responsibilities in your life. Talk to someone who knows you well, like a parent or caregiver – they’ll help you work out what hours are realistic while you’re at school or studying.

Get brainstorming about the skills and interests you have (or would like to have) and the type of job you’d like.

Find out your tax code

Tax might seem boring, but it’s super important to understand. If you’re unsure about what tax is, how it works, and how much you’ll have to pay, check out our handy guide. 

Set up your bank account

If you don’t have a bank account yet, it’s the perfect time. Get it sorted now, and you’ll be ready to receive that sweet moolah once you land your first job.

Do some research on KiwiSaver

KiwiSaver isn’t just for retirement, it can also help you into your first home.

Plus, if you contribute enough and are eligible, the government will contribute 50 cents for every dollar you put in your KiwiSaver account, up to a maximum of $521.43 per year. So it’s a good idea to learn about how it works. 

  • If you’re over 18, you can join through your employer (have a think about the contribution rate you’d like to make). 
  • If you’re under 18, you can only join KiwiSaver through a scheme provider. Have a chat to a parent or guardian if this is something you’d like to do. 

Write your CV

Ask an adult to help you write up a CV (also called a resumé). This might seem weird if you haven’t had a job before, but it doesn’t need to be anything flash. Pop in your school interests, achievements, and any work you’ve done previously (like babysitting), even if you weren’t paid for it. 

If you really don’t have anything to put on your CV, why not ask around to see if you can walk your neighbours’ fluffy friends? Exercise, experience, and exceptionally cute dogs – it’s a win, win, win. And who knows, it might even turn into a paid gig.

There are heaps of ways to look for a job. Check out your local newspaper, notice boards at the supermarket, or hop onto Student Job Search.

Chat to family, friends of the family, or your neighbours – they might know someone who needs a hand.

If you have a specific business in mind that you’d really like to work for, check out their website for job listings. You could also write up a great cover letter letting them know why you’d love to work for them, and email it to them with your CV.  

Don’t be afraid to promote yourself. If you have a useful skill, like lawn mowing or gardening, you could make an ad offering your services and pin it to local noticeboards or post on your local community Facebook group.

Prepare for interviews

Scored yourself an interview? Nice one. Make sure you do some prep beforehand – you’ll feel a lot more confident.

Research the business and make some notes on why you’d like to work for them, and what you can bring to the table. And remember: you don’t have to be perfect. A positive attitude goes a long way.

Important information

This material is for information purposes only. Please talk to us if you need financial advice about your situation and goals or about our products and services. See our financial advice provider disclosure at