I have only ever had one job. I haven’t been to college or university (although my school grades were great) and I started the job immediately after high school. It’s been fine because I can only work part time due to family commitments, and over the years I’ve got hours that really suit me and the pay is (now) decent.

However, in the past year or so, I’ve been thinking about getting a new job. Our boss of the past few years is chaotic, the staffing is a mess, people are stressed and making mistakes constantly and the business is really dropping the ball.

I’ve only been to one job interview, for this job, at 16. That was 12 years ago. I don’t have any formal qualifications although I do have a lot of on the job experience. My commitments haven’t changed so I still could only work/study part time.

How should I set about this given what I imagine is an unusual situation?

  • 1
    I suggest that you include your field or specialty
    – Sandra K
    Oct 25, 2018 at 15:44
  • 2
    Also make sure you emphasize your 12 years of experience at only 28. That's great! Oh and I just turned 30 and I'm still in my first job that I started after my master's at 24, so it's probably not that unusual to make your first change in that age ;)
    – fpnick
    Oct 25, 2018 at 15:46
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    What specific part of this do you want help with? Broadly speaking, there's your resume, cover letters, applying for jobs, interviewing, taking time off for interviews, resigning and probably a few other things I'm forgetting about. Within each of those there are many questions you could have, although I don't see how any of those would be fundamentally different given your situation (apart from the resume, maybe, but finding things to fill up a resume with isn't really unique to your situation). Oct 25, 2018 at 16:40
  • Best thing to do is to contact the local employment agency in your region/town. You seem to be having doubts about an unusual situation, while in fact you are in a perfect place: you have been working for one employer during more than 10 years, and you're not even 30 years old! That's not something to make you doubt, that's something to be proud of! I know nobody of my age who can say the same. Focus on your loyalty and ask the employment agency what you can expect.
    – Dominique
    Oct 26, 2018 at 13:39

2 Answers 2


The same way anyone else would.

Prepare a resume and hand it out to employers looking to hire. Pretty much everywhere has an online job bank where you can look at see who is hiring.

Just be honest on your resume. Show your education level and previous experience as well as any volunteer work you have done. If you worked in the same place for 12 years, that is not a bad thing. If nothing else, you should probably have some pretty good references.

  • 3
    Also, keep in mind that interviewing is a skill, one you haven't practiced in years. Expect to drop the ball a few times, and don't read too much into people not calling you back. You'll be tempted to blame your situation for lack of call-backs, when reality is that call backs occur too infrequently in everyone's opinion. :)
    – Edwin Buck
    Oct 25, 2018 at 16:25

A) Congrats on being in 1 job for so long, I don't know a lot of people who managed to start out and stick it out for that long in one place from the get go.

B) The respect I feel above, is potentially the same that an employer will feel for you when you go to interview. It's also possible they won't respect the achievement, but that's ok, if you get an interview, they will have the chance to talk to you about the work you have done and make up their own minds.

How do you get about job hunting?

Just like the rest of us, you just throw your CV at recruiters. Apply on your local job hunting websites and check the website of any business you like the looks of, or have had any dealings with and you think you might like to work for.

Two schools of thought

1) Quantity: You can throw CV's at a thousand different jobs and see who bites (careful, sometimes that's literal).

2) Quality: Find businesses that you want to work for, tailor your cover letter (I don't think I can say tailor your CV, so your cover letters going to have to be your primary hook) and tell them why you want to change from your existing job, to working for them. This can be tough, and getting no feedback is pretty tough when you take the quality path, but it can also pay off with better quality work or a better chance to interact with the potential employer.

Your unique situation

So the most unique thing about your situation is probably the length of your CV. I'm guessing you can fit it on 1 page? Well bulk it out a little, breakdown the last 10 years into the different roles you filled in the company, or if there were no changes in your role, break it down by years and show off what you learned/achieved in those years.

Talk a little more about your hobbies, and any volunteering that you've done. Show that you have interests and passions that align with the job's you're applying for.

If you get to 3 pages, that's pretty good (in my culture, may be different for yours), do up an awesome covering letter, and you have yourself a CV to be proud of.

  • 3
    I have to disagree, I would not read a 3 page resume that only lists 1 job. I would take the opposite approach and try to fit it on one page. OP is not applying on technical jobs. They do not need to list accomplishments unless they are accomplishments new employer will care about. Be concise and don't sell yourself short. On the flip side, don't add fluff. Oct 25, 2018 at 16:42
  • @SaggingRufus ehh ok? Add it to your answer
    – TolMera
    Oct 25, 2018 at 16:43
  • @Dukeling yea pretty esoteric question how long your CV should be, mine is 6 pages, but recruiters complain that it's "too long", I send out a condensed CV (3 pages) and they want more info. So there's a sweet spot somewhere, but it's to dependent on individuals to be able to pin it down. I think 3 pages for 1 job should be pretty good?
    – TolMera
    Oct 25, 2018 at 16:48

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