It’s Spring and time to be thinking ahead to summer and summer jobs for your kids. It’s the job of your teen to find work and it’s your job to offer advice and support. In our last newsletter we talked about Spring Break. If you missed that and are still looking for ideas go and look at the last edition of this newsletter. Okay, let’s take a look at summer jobs.
Summer Jobs for Teens
Summer is just around the corner and your teen is hoping to find a summer job. While he’s sort of talking about wanting to work, he is waiting until later in the Spring. He will likely need you to help him jump start his job search so sit down with him and help him develop a job search plan.
There are plenty of sites on-line which will give him listings and good ideas and he will want to go there first. After all, when you are 16 the Internet is home to all information and wisdom! Compared to when we were young and had to check the newspapers and local bulletin boards, the internet is so much more efficient and our kids know how to access this material.
You also have an important role to play in helping him with this important transition from an idle summer student to a working teen.
Besides what’s on-line, encourage him to collect information from friends, neighbours and relatives about their job experiences.
Have him tell his friends who have good jobs that he is looking so they can notify him if a job comes available. You can also talk to your friends who may be in workplaces that hire summer students. You may also have friends who would spend ten minutes with your child in an information interview to help him determine what he would like to do. This is a valuable experience. It helps your teen learn about job interviews and may give them ideas they never would have developed themselves.
You want to be doing this now before the rush. Students who wait until the last minute are unlikely to find work.
Once they identify some likely prospects the work begins in earnest and for most of our kids, this will be a new experience. Let them know what they might expect in a job interview. Have them practice some basic answers concerning their skills, availability and experience.
Identifying their experience can be a challenge because this is their first job, and employers looking to hire a 16-year-old understand that. But think about it, have they done babysitting, cut a neighbours lawn, helped dad with major home repairs or been involved in a major project at school? Their experiences do not have to be paid engagements, simply times when their responsibility and accountability were brought into play.
Service Canada has a job bank on-line but it also offers some important advice for teens. Their site has a section for youth that you and your child may want to visit. Take a look together and go through the suggestions.
There are hints on writing a resume, on preparing for the interview and where to look for jobs.
This is a great time to tell your kids stories about your first jobs. It makes the information personal.
I was interested to see that the site also covers information the teen should not provide until he is actually hired. That would include their social insurance number, driver’s license number, health card number, and banking information.
The most challenging role for parents is to insist that the child dress professionally for the interview. Even if the job is to be as a dishwasher or in construction, first impressions count.
If he strikes out and can’t find any work, it is time to become creative. Parents in the neighborhood will be looking for reliable teens to care for their school-aged kids. Lots of parents prefer teen sitters because they are more likely to be active with the kids, taking them places on the bus or to the local park. I recall one sitter we had who loved to bike and he and my son spent some great days biking around the town, having a wonderful time.
Prepare some flyers, deliver them door-to-door and ask to place them in local stores, the library and community centre.
Finding work can be a challenge but with a plan and some forethought it can happen.
Digital Books Make Parenting Information More Accessible.
Next time you’re sitting in the doctor’s office, lying on the couch fighting a cold or on transit and wish you had something to read, think about Parenting Today’s digital parenting books. You can choose from Who’s in Charge Anyway? which talks about roots. It provides a clear road map for parent to focus on the tough but rewarding job of raising children to be responsible, self-disciplined adults. But Nobody Told Me I’d Ever Have to Leave Hometalks about raising children to become capable young men and women. Vive la Différencefocuses on specific parenting issues. The first two are also available in print. Just log onto the store on the site and they are yours for the reading.