Today I went in to sign my contract and all related documents for my first job (I'm 16 in the UK). There was a section that had spaces for two references from previous employers however as this is going to be my first job, I didn't have anything to put in there. I did put details of my ongoing volunteering at a charity shop however I put the other space blank and noted that I haven't been in employment previously.

I passed the store manager my signed "starter pack" with all my information including the reference page and she checked through it and allowed me to go home telling me that I'd be contacted with my shift information shortly (She didn't mention anything about the blank reference space). However I am now worried because all of those documents are going to be sent to the HR department at main office (it's a clothing store with many branches across the country) and on my contract it said the offer for the job is subject to obtaining two satisfactory references.

Is it possible that my job offer/contract would be nullified once it reaches HR? Would it be possible to get another reference after starting the job?

I left it blank purely because it specified references from previous employment which I don't have and to reiterate the store manager didn't mention anything about it when she looked and what I put down.

Thanks all!

  • 4
    Everyone has to have a 'first job'. Better to face this at 16 then at 28. Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 0:02
  • If you signed the contract, then it 100% depends on what the contract says. Did you read through the contract yet? If so, does it say the employer can cancel it?
    – jmac
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 0:02
  • 2
    Don't worry. It's holiday season. During this time of the year, retail takes any help they can get.
    – Philipp
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 19:52
  • Please edit your question: the title does not match the content. The title should contain the essential keywords of what you are asking, or it should be your question. You want people to respond, don't you?
    – user8036
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 15:40
  • Even if they did, what difference would it make? You can't affect whatever decision they're going to come to from this point on, so it's better to focus on other things. Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 15:06

3 Answers 3


It is unlikely. The manager knew this was your first work assignment and offered you the position anyway. In addition this sounds like a seasonal position. Companies regularly take on people for these short term positions that might not otherwise qualify for a full time position with the company. Many times it is this type of position that lets them discover someone who has the potential to be a great employee. This may lead to a call to return next year for a similar or more advanced position. In the worst case they have someone to help with the increased load the holiday shopping season brings.


First off, yes, usually it is possible to file additions to your paperwork after it has been files, provided you work at the company, but to alter your application (which will usually be filed (at least in copy) is unlikely to happen.

Now, relax, don't worry. You're sixteen and nobody expects you to have references from multiple former jobs. The form is a standard form for everybody applying and people twice your age (for example) can be expected to be able to provide those. By putting in your volunteering you likely surpassed expectations already.

Make sure to collect a reference from this job after the holidays, though, so you have something to put into the form next year, when they call back or when you try something else.


I don't think it'll be a problem.

If they did ask for a second reference you could ask a teacher to give you a reference, that's what I did when first applying for work.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .