Finding and starting a new job can be a daunting prospect for anyone, especially when entering the workforce for the first time. Teenagers in particular fall into this category, and as a parent, you might even find yourself getting just as nervous as they are. Below are five tips to help both you and your teen stay on track during the job hunt, and to make the process as easy as possible.
1. Study Up
When looking for a job, it’s important to let your teen know that school isn’t the only place they could be learning—they could also further their skills in their spare time. Studying a short course through an online learning environment such as Careers Australia could help put your teen ahead in competitive industries such as hospitality. It could also give them a head start in a career they would love to pursue later on in life.
The Internet is a great resource for your teen to utilise in order to find out what’s out there in the job world. Get them to research the job/career market for positions to pursue, what education level certain positions need, and what skills are required for different industries. Although most teens are just after a bit of cash, teaching them to focus their search for jobs they have the personality and passion for will help to make the application process easier, both now and in the future.
3. Show Their Skills
Resumes are a major component of any job application, but can be difficult for teens with little, or no, work experience. This is where interests and extracurricular activities come in handy. Point out the skills a position is looking for and show them how to find an example in their everyday lives. For example, if the role asks for leadership and team building qualities, reference your teen’s long-held role/position in a sports team.
4. Get Talking
Being able to sell yourself is one of the most important lessons you can teach, and learn, when it comes to job hunting—especially once you start working your way up the ladder. Make sure your teen knows this, as confidence is key to winning over any interview, no matter how much you know about the job. No employer is going to want to hire anybody who can’t sell themselves as the best person for the job.
5. Stick With It
The best advice for your job-hunting teen is not to give up, because there will be more than one occasion when they’ll feel like it. Continually reinforce to stay positive when applying but also to keep looking at other options, and not to place all their bets on one position. Also advise that putting in 10–20 applications is completely normal—it’s rare for anyone to get the first job they apply for.
Although the above tips are both positive and practical, the best thing you can do for your teen is to never stop encouraging them. There will be low days and there will be high days when job searching, and as long as you’re not overly pushy, your teen will appreciate the support—even if they don’t say it.
What are some life lessons you took out of your first job? Discuss your answers below.