Hey Kids! It's Time Your Butt Got a Job
The economy is hurting all of us – especially families trying to raise and educate their kids. Unfortunately, things have become so tight that there is often little left over to do anything but complain. Even worse, a lot of struggling parents still cater to their offspring who are now of an age where they should no longer expect their parents to buy everything for them and instead take an interest in earning their own money.
Who doesn't have a grandpa that can regale you with tales of his early earnings of a few pennies an hour that went to support his entire family? Well, these days, most kids who are working are only doing it to feed their shoe, clothing, video game, or dating habits. How many actually contribute to the entire welfare of the family? Sure, there are many who do just that, all the while struggling to get a college degree for themselves. But there are many more youth who'd rather sit at home and do not much of anything for themselves.
So, as parents in need, it really is not that unreasonable to get your of-age children out into the work force, at least during the summer months when school is not in session. The concept of work and earning their own money may be a bit foreign to some teens out there, so I made a nice little to-do list that parents can pass along to their teens as they break the news that a summer job is on the menu.
Here is what you both can work on together:
Make Sure The Kid is Legit
The legal working age for teenagers in the US is 14. There are different regulations regarding working papers in each state. You can contact the Department of Labor to find out the rules for your area or even check in with the staff at the high school who might even have the papers you need to complete. The earlier you do this, the better prepared you are before securing a summer job.
Get To Asking Around
There are a ton of people every teen knows and sees everyday. From teachers to coaches, to music lesson instructors and neighbors and friends, there is a great chance someone knows somebody who e who needs help. Running errands, planting gardens, doing small home repair work can not only keep you out of the fast food joints, they may turn into something enjoyable, financially rewarding, and an incredible learning experience. Let everyone know you are going to be looking for work this summer. You never know what you might find if you just ask.
When teens think of a J-O-B, they may only think in terms of retail, restaurants and grocery stores. But the reality is there is a whole world of opportunity out there for young entrepreneurs. Some of the richest people in the world today start out as a kid dabbling in their own creative worlds, which in turn gave them the start to where they are today. If you have an idea, an invention, or a plan, share it with your parents. If they can't help, keep digging around until you find someone that can.
Be Enthusiastic But Appropriate
When you go out in search of a job, it's great to show people your personality but keep it appropriate. Watch your language and that includes proper English. Use your manners. A “please” and a “thank you” can certainly go a long way. Remember that your enthusiasm is a great asset but it is also just as important that you can stay focused on the job and tasks required of you.
Be On Time for the Interview (and Every Day of Work)
No employer is going to hire someone who can't even make it to the interview on time. You need to present yourself in the best possible manner, no matter what the nature of the job is. Dress neatly even if it is a casual atmosphere. Bring references and records from school, to show that you are dedicated and interested in making a good first impression. Remember, you only get that chance once. Thank the interviewer for their time and when you get home, drop them a thank you note in the mail. This may carry some extra weight in the hiring decisions.
Celebrate a Job Well-Done Then Get to Work
When you get the news that you have been hired for a summer or part time job, be proud of yourself for doing great legwork to get yourself the job. But don't celebrate for too long. You want to start your job on time and well rested. You'll want to pay attention in order to learn your way around the new position. Be sure to show initiative and don't wait for everyone else to always tell you what to do or what needs to be done. If you want to keep your hard-earned job, you will need to prove yourself worth of the job.
Make A Deal With the Parental Units
While your parents may be reluctant to accept your money, there is no reason why you have to work for completely selfish reasons. Heck, your parents don't. While it is fine to keep some of your paycheck for yourself, make sure you give back to the people who have endlessly given to you. Make a trip tot he grocery store and pick up some basics without being asked. Take mom and dad out to dinner to celebrate your first pay. They will appreciate all of those simple things more than you can begin to understand.