Part-time work is invaluable as a learning experience. Customer service skills, practical skills, social skills, teamwork skills are just a few of the benefits your teen will develop. When your homeschooled teen is ready for their first job, try these practical tips to help confidently navigate the process from application to paycheck.
Where Teens Can Look for Their First Job
Some people believe the first step in landing a job is finding open positions. It is true that this is a great way to find a part-time job. Teens should check the places they shop, eat, and hang out.
They can also check the employment website or local Facebook pages for opportunities.
Volunteering is also an excellent way for teens to gain work experience. If the job isn’t a good fit, they can leave at the end of the time period without a negative impression. And, if they love the job, work experience often opens the door to offers of regular, part-time work.
The best-kept secret with finding work is….. STOP waiting to see a job ad. Approach the place you want to work, neatly dressed and with a resume. Ask about job opportunities or offer to volunteer your time. In most cases, the very least you will get is placed on a list when an availability comes along.
A close friend has 4 teens. As each one got to 15 years old and were keen to earn some part time money, she helped them make a resume and then they hit the shopping centre. The result was the same, at least 3 jobs to choose from by the end of the day!
Homeschool teens have such an advantage. They are not only available when others are not, but they are economical for businesses.
Filling Out a Job Application
Today, almost all businesses prefer online applications. This does not mean you should bypass going into the store to meet the manager. A first impression is valuable and will boost your place on the list.
If you are applying for a job online or via an application form, filling in the job application is an important step.
It will be helpful for your teen to fill out a sample application at home to ensure she has all the information she needs for the actual application. Suggest that they ask for two blank applications if it is a paper copy provided by potential employers. Or you might copy it so that they can practise before filling in the final version.
Most applications ask for two or three personal or business references. Make sure your teen has the first and last name, mailing address, and phone number for each of the people on the list. Consider seeking references from:
- Adult family friends
- Youth pastors
- Families for whom your teen has worked (babysitting, mowing lawns, etc.)
- Co-op or elective class instructors
The interview is both the most exciting and the most nerve-wracking part of job seeking. Coach your teen for the best first impression with these tips.
WHAT TO WEAR
No matter what kind of job your teen is seeking, a neat, clean appearance is vital. Kids should brush their hair and wear it out of their faces, brush their teeth, and make sure their nails are clean and trimmed. A neat appearance shows a potential employer that the job candidate respects his time enough to put some effort into her appearance.
WHAT TO DO
On the day of the interview, arrive early. “On time” for an interview means at least 10 minutes early but usually not more than 15.
If you drive your teen to the interview, wait in the car. Bringing mum and dad along doesn’t scream, “I’m a mature, dependable job candidate.”
Advise your teen to make eye contact, greet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake, and speak clearly.
Practice with your teen, using common interview questions so they’ll feel more confident during the process. Remind them to keep their references’ contact information handy in case they need it.
And instruct your teen to leave their phone in the car or turn it on silent and don’t check it during the interview.
Getting the Job
Once an employer offers your teen a job, help him open a savings account. Many employers put employees’ earnings directly into an account.
Once your teen has a bank account, make sure they have a banking app and access card.
Lastly, ensure they have a tax file number organised.
The freedom and independence teens experience with their first part-time job are an exciting part of growing up. A part-time job provides an excellent opportunity to gain real-world money management skills and build a teen’s work ethic. Help make the job-seeking experience a positive one for your teen with these tips. Your teen will learn more in-depth work readiness in the Euka Launchpad program during Grade 9 and 10. Everything from choosing a bank account to practise with job interview questions will be provided.
Enjoy the journey!