Encouraging your teenager to get a summer job will teach them responsibility, independence, and hard work, which is even more important than money. Unfortunately, it can be challenging for teens to find summer jobs as the market gets flooded with applications just as school is letting out. Here are a few tips to help you help your teen navigate the summer job hunt:
Type of work
Talk to your teen about what they are most interested doing for a part-time job. If possible, try to connect it to their hobbies, for example, if they love art and kids, they may want to look for a job at a camp or kids summer program. If they are an avid swimmer and love the water, they may want to take a lifeguard course and apply to be a lifeguard. If they love filmmaking and movies they may want to apply to work at the local movie theater. If fashion is their passion, then a retail job may be the perfect gig.
Since kids are all looking for summer jobs at the same time, consider applying earlier in the year if their schedule allows them to work a few hours a week while school is still in and can also offer to work during the busy holiday season. Getting in early helps them secure a position before the summer rush.
Work with your teen to put together a strong résumé listing all their various skills including school activities, clubs, sports, and charities they volunteer with. This will give the employer a little insight into who they are and their interests. Be sure it looks polished and professional without teen-style abbreviations or spelling errors. Since creating a resume is something they should know how to do, work with them on this.
Create a realistic list of the days and hours they would be available to work while taking into account any summer classes, team practices, and school events, as well as family obligations and summer holiday plans. Some employers can be flexible, but you want to accommodate the work schedule as much as possible.
Whether your teen drives or not, you want to make sure that the location of the job makes sense in relation to your home. Getting a job that takes an hour to get to may not be as practical as a job that is closer. You should also look into all forms of transportation and calculate the expense and practicality of working far from home before applying.
Wage vs. Expenses
Calculate the paying wage (minus taxes) and compare it to any expenses needed for the job like travel, uniform or clothing costs, food, etc. If they end up spending more than they’re making, it might be something to reconsider unless they are there for the experience over the paycheck.
Whatever your teen does this summer, job or no job, keeping them on track for the school year can help them ease back into a routine when September rolls around. Don’t forget to make an appointment with their pediatrician while their days are less hectic!