Teens should have jobs for several reasons. Part-time jobs offer all sorts of benefits, in addition to a paycheck: they teach skills, such as time management and responsibility. Teens who work also tend to feel more confident in their ability to take care of themselves.
The paycheck, however, will help your teen most appreciate the value of a dollar. They’ll get a real-life look at how many hours someone needs to work to make a decent wage. They’ll also gain experience managing their incomes.
Even if you have enough money to pay your kid's way, your teen can still benefit from the experience of having a job. Teens can also benefit from putting half of the money they earn into savings. If you have the finances, offer to match your kid's savings. For every dollar your teen saves, you can put a dollar into a joint account. Knowing they are getting paid twice should encourage teens to work some extra hours.
Warning: Don't let your teen get carried away. Your kids might be so excited to have their own money that they go overboard. Put a limit on the amount of hours your teen can work in a week. Always remember that schoolwork and fun with friends are important parts of a teen’s life. FamilyEducation.com recommends teens work no more than ten to fifteen hours per week during the school year. In fact, students who work ten to fifteen hours per week tend to have better grades than students who don’t work at all.
Follow these steps to help your teen find a job while in high school:
Talk to my kid about how to choose the right job.
High school is a time for kids to explore their options. Sit down with your kid and list strengths and weaknesses as well as likes and dislikes. Once you have a list of their likes and a list of their strengths, start making a list of jobs that make the most of those traits.
On the other hand: If your teens already know exactly what career they want and can't wait to get started, have them look into work-based learning. With a little ingenuity and courage, your teen could get an entry-level position at a dream employer.
Talk to my teen about starting a business.
Diane Keng launched her third Web start-up while still in high school. Ben Cathers was twelve years old when he started his first business. Encourage your kid to think big, but also realistically: What skills does your teen have? What is sorely needed in your hometown (or in a certain age group if your teen wants to build a virtual business)? How much time can your teen devote to this business? What are the start-up costs? Help your teen, but don't take over. Even if the business fails, this can be a huge learning experience. Make sure your teen learns as much as possible at sites like YoungBiz.com, which specializes in helping teens become entrepreneurs.
Give my kid some tips on networking.
Kelley Robertson, author of Stop, Ask, and Listen, explains, "Networking does produce results. The more people know about you…and the more they trust you, the greater likelihood they will either work with you or refer someone else to you."
Suggest that your teen try these tips for networking:
Tell everyone they know that they're looking for a paying job
Offer to volunteer at a place they’d like to work. This can often turn into a job
Ask companies and professionals if they are looking for a savvy teen to tell them what young consumers really think
Make sure your teen knows that networking is more about putting oneself out there than about asking for favors.
Require my kid to help pay for cell phone bills or car insurance.
Would you work if you didn't have bills to pay? Probably not. That's why you have to provide your teen with a little motivation. Teens can take over paying for things they want—which might help them appreciate how much you've been spending all these years. Don't be so quick to buy your teens every luxury they request. Even if it feels like you're being mean, you need to practice saying “no.” Your teen might give you grief in the short term, but teens appreciate those items a lot more when they've purchased them with their own money.
Use the internet to hunt for jobs together.
Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler, well-known recruiting experts and consultants, reported a rise in online hiring in 2010 on hiring sites such as Careerbuilder.com and also through company Web sites. Organizations, such as Teens4hire.org, connect teenagers and job opportunities.
Remember: The Internet is filled with scams, so use this opportunity to teach your teens lessons about whom they can trust. Review the rules about safe job hunting on the Internet, and tell your teen to let you check out any opportunities before sending any personal information.
Promise that I'll let my teen find his/her own job.
It's really important that you stand back and let your teen do most of the work of finding a job. Peter Vogt, MonsterTRAK career coach, advises parents to "solemnly pledge" to let their teens find their own jobs, even though it's easier to find jobs for them. Remember that your teen's job search isn't just about finding a job; it's about growing up, taking responsibility, and forging a little independence.
To continue, please sign in to EduGuide's free, nonprofit Community.