Your teen’s first job marks your child’s baby steps towards the thrilling prospect of them someday supporting themselves. A first job can teach responsibility, time management, and a strong work ethic. But when it comes to sending your teen off to the workforce, parents are naturally concerned about what types of jobs are appropriate. Put your mind at ease by discussing the following job criteria with your teen.
In many cases, this is your teen’s first launch into the real world. As such, you might not want to throw your teenage daughter into a late-night shift at a seedy restaurant or your naïve son into a dangerous rock quarry. Steer clear of jobs that can potentially scar them for life or are simply unsafe for a teen. The goal is to teach valuable workplace skills, so help them to look for a job that will encourage and foster healthy working habits.
Everyone loves being rewarded for a job well done and a job that offers performance-based promotions or bonuses will incentivize your teen to work hard. A little pat on the back from a superior could also help to boost your teen’s self-esteem and teach them to continue striving for excellence in their career.
Especially since this will be your teen’s first job, guide them towards jobs that make sense for their lifestyle. This might mean that the clerical job involving a one-hour commute won’t work, especially if they don’t have a car. Alternatively, the bakery next door that needs extra help for the 4:30 AM shift might not be the best fit for your teenager who can barely make it to school by homeroom.
Drama tends to follow teens wherever they go, so make sure that their new boss is understanding. While it’s important to learn that showing up late and trolling social media sites are not appropriate for the workplace, you’ll want your teen to be supervised by someone who understands that this is your child’s first job and mistakes happen. A boss who can help to teach correct behavior will leave a far greater impact on your child than one who is quick to anger and will fire your teen after the first infraction.
Though it’s not always possible, an ideal first job would be one that offers some flexibility. If your teen has other commitments or you’ve already got a big family trip planned a few weeks away, a job that can fit into their lives without wreaking havoc will help your teen ease into the workforce.
Look for jobs through your local newspaper, town hall, or library, where there are often “help wanted” ads scattered about, or ask around to family and friends. Have a neighbor who runs a company? Ask if he or acshe can put your teen to work for a few hours per week. Do you frequent a local diner? Ask the manager if they’re looking for a new server during the lunchtime rush.
Enlisting your teen in the job hunt is even better: By guiding them through putting together a resume, reaching out to companies, and going on interviews, you’ll be teaching your teen the invaluable lessons of thriving in a competitive marketplace.
– By Samantha B. Rivers, Editor