When you only have matric
Tips to help you achieve your career goals when you only have a matric certificate.

GETTING a university qualification will help you succeed in life, but not everyone can afford to study further. Most people tend to look down on jobs that require just a matric certificate, but these jobs will give you the opportunity to have a successful career.


Paula Facci, a personal and professional coach from Paula Facci Coaching, says success depends more on your mindset and attitude. “There is a quote that says, ‘You can teach a nice person skills, but you can’t teach a skilled person to be nice.’

If you are hungry, ambitious and determined, you can plan your career path in stages,” says Paula. She says the fact that you only have matric is not a permanent situation. “You can get an entry-level job in order to get experience. Consider doing an internship with no payment to get experience. Once you have experience, it will improve your chances of getting a better job,” she says.

She adds that it’s important to know what you’re good at so that you know which career will suit you. For example, you can’t be stuck in an office all day if you love to socialise and interact with people, rather go for jobs in promotions.


It always helps to have some qualifications related to your job as people with qualifications are usually the first choice. But it also helps to increase your knowledge by learning new things as industries are constantly growing and changing. Make sure you keep your skills updated to stay relevant.

“Many people manage to study while working, so you should start saving for university while working at entry level. Reading appropriate books is also a great and cheap way for personal and professional development,” explains Paula.


You cannot expect to be a doctor without a medical degree or a lawyer without a law degree. It is advisable to look for a job based on the subjects you did in matric. Matriculants who have the necessary computer skills, as well as subjects like accountancy and maths, do not have problems finding jobs. Also do research on what the labour market is looking for and how you can comply with this.       


Here are a few jobs to consider when you only have a matric certificate:

  • Promotions for brands or venues.
  • Sales.
  • Artisanship: Mechanic or plumber. 
  • Be an au pair (childcare).
  • Administrator.
  • Data-capturing or secretarial jobs (if you are computer literate).
  • Modelling.
  • A tutor (for subjects you were good at in high school).
  • Sales assistant at your local mall.
  • Driver (provided that you have a driver’s licence).


Being out of work is stressful and this stress can make you do desperate things to find a job. There are people who feed off this desperation, so you could easily find yourself in a situation where you are looking for a job, but end up losing money. Some people will scam you by asking for money for a training manual, for instance.

There should never ever be a money exchange at an interview; this is a scam and those people will never call you back. Vivien Katzav, a life coach, trainer and speaker, doesn’t believe in miracle jobs. “If it sounds too good to be true, they are asking you for money or do not have contactable references, it is a scam,” she says.    


Remember that you as the person looking for a job are a brand and you should behave as such, reputation is everything and a good one can take you everywhere.

  • Know your values, natural skills and what you are good at.
  • Interviews are selling jobs and you are the product. Know what you are looking for.
  • Prepare for the interview, do not wing it.

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