Teens and Summer Jobs

SummerJobsIt’s the second most wonderful time of the year. Summer is here and school is out. But it can’t be all vacations and barbecues. It’s time to get to work!

If you’ve got kids in high school, or even home from college, you may be thinking: how do I make my son or daughter get off the couch and go get a summer job?

Summer employment, besides subsidizing your child’s own expenses, can teach him or her about work ethic, social skills, discipline, financial management, and generally help prepare the way for a long and happy career in “the real world.”

Below are some pointers to help you get the ball rolling:

1. Set the expectations. The first thing you need to consider is the rationale. Is it generically good for your teen to have a job? Why, yes. But it’s important to establish your priorities for why this is important. Make sure your teen understands that this is not optional, or they may be inclined to put off the job-seeking until it’s too late. Set specific targets (3 applications a day, or a hard deadline after which you can go with a sure thing, even if it’s not the first choice).

2. Start the search early. It’s already June, so it’s time to move. Chances are with your teen’s school schedule, starting now will leave only 2-2½ months to work, which is about as short a span as anyone wants to hire for.

3. Apply gentle pressure. If there’s any foot-dragging going on, some of it may be genuine nervousness; this stuff is still new and unfamiliar, after all. Talk about it on a daily basis, but try not to nag.

4. Help put together a resume. In all likelihood your teen’s resume is thin. Think outside the box and include academic achievements, community service, and extracurricular activities. Show them how best to emphasize the desired aspects of each activity.

5. Use your own network. Don’t feel bad about asking around with your own contacts. Part of what you aim to achieve may be some self-sufficiency on your youngster’s part, but it may be more important just to get something started, and as you’ve surely learned as an adult, who you know counts as much as anything. Nepotism is underrated: being on familiar terms with your child’s boss can be reassuring, and it may actually make your child a better worker if they know your reputation’s tied up in it a little.

6. Look online. Monster.com and Craigslist are two of the most popular job-search sites for adults, but you’ll have to filter results (and be particularly cautious with the latter) to make sure the environment is suitable for a minor to work in.  Never give your personal information such as your social security number online to people on Craigslists especially.  You need to be very careful there.  Be sure they are legitimate.

7. Meet the employer. If your child’s working for a stranger, don’t let it stay that way. Make sure that some time (preferably before the start date, but certainly during the first week), you find an excuse to stop by and shake hands with the boss.

8. Consider volunteering. If money is not the primary goal for you or your teen, volunteer work can be a great way to keep busy, build a resume, and help the world. It’s a tough job market out there, too, and it may be a good year not to sweat the whole summer-job thing too much. Plus, community service opportunities are naturally more likely to be flexible with granting time off for summer trips!

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Teens and Financial Literacy: 5 Tips to Saving Money and Starting Young

As summer is approaching many parents question whether their teen should get a job or go to summer camp.  It is a personal decision and a depends on the teen and the family.

Teaching your teen how to be responsible with money is very important. So many teens enter adult hood unaware of the workings behind their finances, which leads them into a lot of financial hardships down the road.

Here are a five ways to start teaching your teen to be financially responsible:

Get a Job:Your child’s education should be first priority and their job second, so a job that requires a minimal schedule is best. Look at lifeguarding, restaurants, retail or babysitting. Even if the job doesn’t have epic responsibilities it will teach them about paychecks, pay periods, taxes and what to do once you get that pay check. Be sure to check your state’s legal working age; some differ from others anywhere from 13 to 16 years old.

Allowance: Your teen may be too active with school and extra circular activities to find a part time job, so make them earn an allowance. Chores around the home, dog walking or watching their younger sibling is a good way for them to earn their money. Pay them what you would normally pay someone to do that job. Just because they are your child doesn’t mean you should pay them less.

Save: Teaching your teen to save is so important and probably the most important habit they carry on into their futures. The money they earn, whether it is allowance or from a job, have them save a portion, Teach them the reasons you save and why it is so imperative for their futures.

Pay for own things: Going to the movies, concerts or buying a new pair of shoes that they ‘must have’ should come out of their own pocket. As parent you are not entitled to buy them new video games or supply cash for pedicures. Teach them that that these things are just extras and they will have to pay for it themselves. Have them pay for their own gas too will help them see how quickly money can disappear.

Give them a Credit Card: This may be a stretch for some parents and could seem an extreme. But sitting down with your child and going over how credit cards work can help them when they run off to college one day. College students are easy targets for credit cards because they do not understand how to use them. Start early and let them use the family credit card and monitor every spending and show them how quickly things can add up.

As in any lesson you are trying to teach your teen, don’t beat a dead horse. Avoid the nagging and pestering and let them make the mistakes. Obviously you need to monitor them from a distance but be there to kindly guide them in the right direction. Follow some of these tips and you will see a little money saver in no time!

Special contributor: Jenny Ellis is a freelance writer, and a regular contributor for aupair care. She welcomes your comments at: ellisjenny728 @ gmail.com.

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Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff – Summer Jobs and Teens

quintcareersA Guide for Teens: How to Find a Summer or Part-Time Job

by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

Even if summer vacation is still a few months away for most teens, now is the time to plan and lay a foundation for landing that cool summer job you really want.

Some caveats: This article is really geared to older high school and college teens, with a focus on summer jobs, not internships. For younger teens (under 15), check out another article I wrote, Job Ideas for Teens 15 and Younger: Beyond Babysitting. For college students looking for internship tips, we’re working on such an article, but for now, please visit: Quintessential Careers: College Internship Resources.

The Action Plan for Teens Wanting a Summer Job
The first step you need to do is decide on the summer job you want or need -– in terms of the type of job, the location, the hours, the pay. You may not be able to find a job that meets all your needs, but given the current employment situation you should strive to find one that meets as many as possible.

The second step you need to do is complete a self-analysis. What do you have to offer an employer? What kind of skills do you have? What kind of other work have you done -– paid or volunteer? What have you learned at school that might be useful in your ideal summer job?

The third step you need to do is develop a resume. You will put forth a very professional image if you present a professional-looking resume to potential employers. You’ll want to visit Quintessential Careers: Resume Resources. You’ll also need to learn about cover letters, so plan on visiting Quintessential Careers: Cover Letter Resources.

The fourth step you need to do is use all your available resources to land that ideal summer job. Talk with your parents and older family members, your friends’ parents, your teachers, and any other adults you know and ask them if they have any contacts at your ideal job’s company. Give them copies of your resume. We call this step networking, and it will give you the highest chances of landing your ideal job.

The fifth step is hitting the pavement, reading the newspaper want ads, and/or surfing the Web. If you don’t get any job leads from the fourth step, you have to take action!

The sixth step is applying for the jobs that interest you. This step is where you again use your resume. Make sure you are familiar with job applications and have all the information you need to complete them.

The seventh step is interviewing for the jobs. Make sure you know something about the company; develop answers to common interview questions; think of a few questions you could ask; practice, practice, practice with a family member of friend; dress conservatively for the interview. You can read these interviewing tips in more detail — and find lots more — by visiting Quintessential Careers: Interviewing Resources.

Where Teens can Find Summer Jobs
There are any number of places where you can look for a good summer job:

  • Local merchants: local stores often need good help – and not just in the summer.
  • Small businesses: most towns have a number of small business offices – and your family or friends probably know several owners or office managers.
  • Corporate offices: many have established summer jobs and internship programs, but often these are the most competitive.
  • Stores at the mall: have a favorite store you like to shop at in the mall? Maybe now is the time to get a job there –- just be careful not to spend all your earnings buying their products.
  • Hotels and resorts: summer is the busy season for most hotels and resorts.
  • Tourist attractions: even if you don’t live in Florida or California, most states have tourist attractions that especially need help during the busy tourism season.
  • Golf & Tennis clubs: as the weather improves, these clubs are usually looking for part-time help.
  • Grocery stores: maybe not the most exciting jobs, but probably the most convenient -– and not just for summer.
  • Fast food and restaurants: local restaurants always need good help -– and while not the most glamorous, it’s still a job.
  • Parks and recreation departments: city, state, and national parks and recreation departments often develop special summer programs, and thus have job opportunities.
  • Local government summer job programs: often various government agencies sponsor different kinds of summer youth work programs.
  • Summer camps: okay, you went to camp as a kid – now you can go back as a counselor and get paid while being at camp.
  • Working for yourself: there are all sorts of jobs/businesses you could develop for yourself in your neighborhood –- Check out my article, Job Ideas for Teens 15 and Younger: Beyond Babysitting.
  • The Web: especially if you want to work outside your neighborhood, or even your state, the Web is the place for you to explore all sorts of summer job opportunities -– so go visit Quintessential Careers: Summer Job Websites.

What do Employers Look for in Teens
Employers want motivated teens who are going to arrive to work on time, have a positive attitude, work hard, work well with others, show leadership qualities, work their full shift, and do the best job they can. You need to show your employer that you are a good investment, both for the current position, as well as for any potential future positions.

Final Words of Advice
Jobs are jobs. You are going to have to work, no matter how “cool” the job or company, so be prepared for some days to not be as great as others. The keys to remember are that you are earning money, you are gaining experience, and you are making good contacts (and references)!

 

Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.

Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com.

Reprinted with permission; copyright Quintessential Careers