I’m taking a break from blogging this week for the 4th. In my place as a guest blogger today is a great supporter of Celebrating Financial Freedom, Suzanne Cramer. Hope you enjoy it!
A summer job gives teenagers much more than just a paycheck. It teaches important life skills such as responsibility, the importance of a strong work ethic, and money management skills. Earning a paycheck and spending, saving responsibly now, just may translate into good habits in adulthood. Once they see how hard it is to earn those dollars, they just may put more thought into how they use them.
Jobs for Teenagers Harder to Find
A recent Huffington Post article, Youth Unemployment: More Than Seven In 10 US Teens Jobless In Summer suggests a tough job market for teens. The article states, “Once a rite of passage to adulthood, summer jobs for teenagers are disappearing. Fewer than three in 10 American teenagers now hold jobs such as running cash registers, mowing lawns or bussing restaurant tables from June to August. The decline has been particularly sharp since 2000, with employment for 16-to-19-year olds falling to the lowest level since World War II.”
These statistics are certainly not what we want to hear. In fact they hit close to home. In conversations with friends I have also heard the griping about their unemployed teenagers not being able to get a job.
When I was a teen, ahem… fifteen plus years ago, summer jobs were plentiful and there was no excuse for not getting a job over the summer to cover the cost of gas, car insurance, spending money, and yes savings for college. Was the economy different? Yes. Are the same jobs still out there? Maybe. Can our teenagers get more creative with their capacity to earn some cash? Absolutely!
Here are some tips to get your teenager off the couch and pulling their weight this summer, despite the tough job market.
- Get the word out. Encourage them to get in the habit of sharing their skills, talents and future ambitions with people they come in contact with. This includes your friends, members of your church, or parents of other kids on their sports teams. Using this approach is a great way to expose them to potential job prospects.
- Apply at last year’s summer job. Unless their summer job last year was a complete bust, encourage them to apply again this year for summer employment. Their chances of getting hired even if there aren’t any advertised openings are much better. They already know the ropes and are trained; making them more appealing to their old employer.
- Look over their resume / application. A second set of eyes on anything that needs to be grammatically correct is always a good idea. With a tight job market, it is more important now than ever before to have a clean resume, application.
- Explain not to limit their availability. Telling a potential employer, “ I can only work Monday through Friday 9-5,” will most likely result in rejection. Offering summer employment is a great way for employers to obtain cost effective labor to cover vacations and busier times such as nights and weekends.
- Think outside the box. Oftentimes the only jobs that come to mind for teenagers are fast food joints, retail, and mowing lawns. Have them consider banks, healthcare facilities, and other professional atmospheres. Not only are they looking for summer employees to cover vacations, these types of jobs will look great on your teenager’s resume.
The key to helping your teenager obtain summer employment is to guide them in the right direction, not do all of the work for them. Share this advice with them, be willing to look over their resume, application and give them the parental seal of approval when they make an attempt at getting hired. Financial education begins at home; working and earning an income are the first steps to financial freedom.
Does your teen have a summer job? Were you involved in the process?
Suzanne is a certified credit counselor and a Social Media Specialist for CareOne Debt Relief Services. Suzanne writes for Divorce, Debt and Finances and A Straight Talk on Debt. Follow Suzanne on Twitter @SuzanneCramer1 and @CareOneWorks where she shares her insights on divorce and managing your finances