While summer means freedom from homework, boring classes, and schedules, it doesn’t give your teen the right to sleep until noon every day, play video games and eat everything in the fridge that was just stocked yesterday. Yes, a teenager’s dream, but not real or very productive.
Summertime is the perfect opportunity to educate your teen about the process of getting a job. It’s not just about them making money, but preparing them for their future. As parents, that’s our job.
How do you get your kids ready for the real world? It’s important to be a role model for your children as they’re always watching and learning from you. What’s your work ethic? How do you handle finances? What is your attitude towards work?
If your kids hear you complaining day in and day out about how much you hate your job and how you wish Monday would never come, that will be the foundation for their mindset when it comes to the workplace.
If you instead, work hard, do more than is expected of you and demonstrate a positive approach to roadblocks, imagine the lesson you could be teaching your kids.
While the concept of finding a specific job is an appropriate topic for teens, the concept of the value of money can and should start at a young age, whether it’s encouraging your child to create a lemonade stand or providing them with an allowance for helping with chores.
Filling your child with such knowledge and experience in their younger years will make the job of them getting a job, a whole lot easier. This doesn’t mean your child will know how to find the right job, how to write a resume or what to wear to and say in an interview. This is where you, as a parent, can help.
Talking to your child to understand their interests is a great place to start focusing on available options. Whether it’s babysitting, checking people out at the supermarket or sitting in an office, helping your teen with their job search will put them on the right path.
That said, it’s critical not to push them to take any job, just because it’s available and provides a paycheck. The pressure can backfire and foster a negative attitude towards their work journey, so be aware.
While some may think a resume doesn’t make sense for someone who hasn’t had a job before, think again. TheBalanceCareers.com shares that “Having a printed resume sets you apart from the crowd. Even if you have no work experience, you can still give the employer an idea of who you are, and what your strengths are. If all you’ve done is babysit your kid brother, put it down in writing. Emphasize the skills you learned while babysitting, the challenges you overcame, and so on.”
Being honest with your child and preparing them for rejection is vital for their future. The reality is that they won’t get every job they apply for, as a teen and as an adult.
The reaction to that “no” is also an important lesson for your teen. It’s easy for them to feel defeated and angry about not landing a job, but talking to your teen about rejection, will make them realize it’s not personal. The best way for them to handle that situation is to keep their head up high and say, “Thank you for your time,” and move on to the next opportunity.
Aiding your teen in finding their first job is an important role you will play as a parent. That said, providing support without doing it for them is key. Parents need to remember that if they are always ‘doing’ for their kids, they will never learn to ‘do it’ on their own. They should provide support and encouragement, but not be the one doing the research and dirty work.
You may not realize it but for their whole life, your child has been studying your work ethic, your stance towards your boss, the hardships and successes of you building your business and how you value the money you worked so hard to earn. It may not seem like it, but they paid attention and will use what they know to either succeed or fail in their own careers.
With a little bit of guidance, encouragement, and assistance, your teen will be making money this summer, learning the value of their hard-earned money, building their resume and gaining experience in the workforce.
Knowing you helped facilitate this process, while letting them navigate the waters on their own, is a great feeling, so congrats! Perhaps a family business is in the future for your crew?