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How to Help Your Teenager Find Their First Job


Getting your first job is an important milestone for any person. The experience can be filled with nerves and apprehension, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are five tips to consider when your child is looking to find his or her first job.

Think ‘Stepping Stones’

Your child’s first job is a stepping stone to the next job and so the most important thing is for them to get their foot in the door. Usually, securing this first job is the hardest, as they are trying to get into the workforce with little or no prior work experience. This means they need to be prepared to put effort into finding the work. Many organizations look for extra staff over the holiday periods and take on interns, so do your homework to find what’s possible and be aware of seasonal demands.

Don’t Go for Perfect

Everyone has a dream job, and a person’s first job isn’t likely to be it. Your child’s first job is about getting the experience of working and holding down a job. This doesn’t mean they should be discouraged from aiming high, but help them be realistic about what the first job will involve, as it is likely to be an entry-level position. This means it will involve work that can be tedious and repetitive.

On the upside, part-time jobs provide a range of life-long skills, including responsibility, time management, money management, and relationship skills.

Look for Transferable Skills

The best entry-level jobs are ones that offer a range of transferable skills that they can take with them to their next job. For example:

  • Tutoring: learn how to explain details and teach another person a skill.
  • Retail: learn customer service, relationship management and sales skills.
  • Call center: learn how to engage with a customer remotely, how to manage conflict/ customer complaints, and learn systems and processes.
  • Waitressing: learn how to deal with difficult customers, how to manage multiple requests, and how to balance energy.
  • Receptionist: learn how to interact with people from all walks of life, along with customer service and communication skills.

Be Flexible

It’s important to encourage your child to be flexible. The more flexible they are, the easier it will be for them to get a job. This means encouraging them to not be too rigid in what they are looking for in terms of working hours, location, and style of work.

Practice Resilience

Getting your first job is often hard and it’s likely to involve a few setbacks. Supporting your child through this process is critical so that the rejections they receive don’t negatively impact their self-esteem.

Through the application process, they will learn about how to present themselves, articulate their skills both verbally and in written form, and how to best prepare for a job interview.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.

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