Hi Lifehacker, I’ve recently finished high school and am now preparing to move out of the family home and into the real world, like many my age. Only problem is, I have no idea how it works.
Everything I’ve done has been with parents help so far and now things like getting a job, finding accommodation, getting insurance and more seem impossible. Do you know of any crash course, tips or booklets on how to become independent? It was worth a try, thanks! Nest Leaver
In the wise words of Douglas Adams, Don’t Panic!
The reality is that nobody when leaving home has any real idea of how it “all” works. Nobody. Yes, some might think they do, but everyone’s journey through life is different and there’s a large proportion of learning that can only happen on your feet, not in your head.
I’ll use a personal example; when I left home, or in my case, when home left me as I stayed in the same town despite my family moving several hundred kilometres away, I worked out renting relatively quickly, but not well. I ended up in one place which was wildly unsuitable (I left) and one place where I was lightly ripped off by my flatmates on the rent (I let them know how dodgy that was, and they paid me back). Both lessons learned the hard way, but not exactly something that could be “taught”. School of hard knocks, and all that.
That being said, a little preparation is no bad thing either, because there are some really bad pitfalls worth dodging.
The issue of securing employment is one that comes up at the Ask Lifehacker desk quite frequently; for starters we’ve covered how to get a job interview here and how to get a job sans relevant experience here. For resume help, our Resume section is well worth perusing.
In a longer term frame, if you’re finding it hard to secure work there are government resources and training schemes for the longer-term unemployed, such as the Federal Government’s Employment portal, which has a specific section for the younger unemployed.
On the accommodation front, likewise, we’ve got plenty of resources when it comes to common renting problems to read through here.
The reality that I found, and it does seem to be fairly universal, is that you’re not unique in becoming independent, and as such a lot of the folk you’ll deal with will be willing to walk you gently along the steps you need to take when signing your first rental contracts, getting proper insurance and so on and so forth.
It’s worth consulting with a few people when making those decisions for the first time because it is possible to end up in a poor situation, but then the shonks should become quickly apparent when they’re giving you advice that wildly varies from the norm.
Also, remember that if all else fails, given your parents have been happy to advise you previously, they’re a good resource to fall back on if you’re unsure of a contract or similar.
Is that entirely independent? No. Does it matter if you’re benefitting from their experience? Not at all.
You’re asking for independent advice from them, rather than being dependent upon them. How you choose to act on that advice is up to you, and that’s what independence is really all about. Independence isn’t a step that always has to happen all at once.
If any readers have advice of their own for NL, head to the comments section below.
Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our [contact text=”contact form”].