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Helping your teens get a job

October 3rd, 2007

Much of real life happens outside the home, isn’t that right?

To help our teenagers in their growth towards adulthood in the real world, we need to help them get a job – a real job, in the real world.

In a previous post, I talked about the benefits of a job. Most likely than not, your child will be earning minimum wage, so the benefits is not mainly the money.

While some of our kids may be self-motivated to get a job and take the initiative to apply for work, some of our kids may need a little push.

As a parent, we can do our part to encourage them.

One afternoon, I took my daughter after school to various local businesses to fill out applications. Be sure your child dresses decently in case the manager is on site.

“I don’t want to apply at food places,” my daughter says.

She can’t be too picky about where she works on her first job. Fast food restaurants, retail stores, hardware stores – we have to apply everywhere that will take your application.

We saw some pretty intimidating applications. There will be many questions that your child will need your help in answering. They will need to know who to put down as references, how to describe their prior work experience, etc. They want to know their career objective! At a fast food joint? I have no idea!

When my daughter handed in her application, I told her to ask for the name of the manager that will be reviewing the application, the phone number where he/she can be reached, and the best time to call. After the applications are in, teach your children to follow up with a phone call to the manager the next day.

If they are given the opportunity for an interview, help your child prepare for it by doing a mock interview at home. It is not easy to be put on the spot to answer questions when your child has never been on a professional interview. Prepare some answers to frequently asked questions such as “Tell us about yourself” and “What is your greatest strength and weakness?”

Whether or not your teen lands a job, the experience of applying for one is great experience. My daughter received a few rejection letters before getting her first job.

And that’s part of real life too.

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