With the holidays just around the corner, seasonal jobs are an excellent way for your teen to explore the employment world. While there’s a good chance that your teen has already had a few babysitting jobs, a paper route or even a dog walking gig or two, landing their first “official” job is often exciting and nerve-wracking.
Consider these tips for helping your teen hunt for employment.
Resist the Urge to Find a Job for Your Teen
It’s normal (and probably a little tempting) to go ahead and try to find a job for your teen, especially if you know of open positions or have connections. While there’s nothing wrong with giving your teen a few leads, your child needs to have an active role in their job search.
Shopping at a boutique that just happens to be looking for holiday gift wrappers? Go ahead and grab an application for your teen, but resist the urge to fill it out for them. Getting a job is a big step, and one of the essential steps is going through the work of searching, applying, and interviewing.
Helping Your Teen Craft a Resume
There’s a good chance that you’re old enough to remember when the only way to apply for a job was with a paper application (pre-Internet), and you probably didn’t turn in a resume. Most jobs for teenagers probably don’t require a resume, but it’s good practice, especially when you start filling out college applications.
Your teen’s resume should include previous jobs, even if they were informal side gigs. The resume should also be crafted to reflect the position they are applying for just as you would any other job. If your teen has little to no work experience, avoid trying to “fluff” up the resume too much, but make sure they still put in the effort (and practice) to write one.
Prep Your Teen for the Best and Worst
Think of your teen’s first job or job interview like an important test. There’s quite about of prep work that needs to be done to succeed, and even if you’re teen tries their best it doesn’t mean they will get the job. This can be disappointing for you and your teen, but it’s essential to talk about rejection and let them know that it’s not necessarily a reflection on them.
While you prep your teen to have the confidence to “own” a job interview, it’s always a good idea to pitch them a worst case scenario just so they know what to expect.
Before Your Teen Accepts a Job
If your teen is offered a job, you probably can’t say “yes” fast enough, but there are a few things to consider before you let your teen take the job. Discuss what the schedule will be like and whether or not it will interfere with school activities or homework. Will you have to drive your teen to work? How far and how often?
Is the job position high-risk? Will your teen work by themselves a lot? Other things to explore include benefits, safety procedures in the workplace, and whether or not the employer has workers comp insurance for all employees. An employer should have plans in place to protect all employees in the event of a work-related injury, so make sure your teen is protected.