This is part 1 of a series for parents of teens landing their first job. Each week I will release a new blog post topic on first jobs for teens. If there is a topic you would like me to cover just leave a comment in the comment box. I always check those!
When teens turn 15, in most states they are legally allowed to work. This is new territory for many parents. There is a lot to think about. So much to learn, and be cautious of. It can be scary for parents to realize their teen is growing up, and they might even be concerned about how the money will be spent. However, the benefits of your teen working far outweigh the scariness of it.
Your teen should be doing the work
Looking for a job that best suits your teenager can be a daunting task, but realistically its not the parent who should be looking, it’s the teen. Your teen should be doing most of the ground work. Its okay for them to come to you with questions, but if you are filling out job applications or updating resumes this is an issue. You want your teen to be responsible, and invested in whatever job they decide to take. If you are doing the work for them they are not going to be as invested.
How hard has it been to find a job?
This is something you cannot avoid thinking about when considering first jobs for teens. It is always hard to land a job for teenagers. This can be explained by the economic dynamics. It used to be easy to find a summer job but this is not the case nowadays. The increased number of job seekers has made it difficult for teens to find meaningful work. Some states have areas where jobs are more readily available for teens but if you live in a rural areas it could be much more difficult for them to land their first job.
New job stress worth it?
When my daughter got her first job at Carl’s Jr she hated it. She found herself miserable and would cry in the car before going in. Her boss was mean, and would yell the staff and it was upsetting her. I kept telling her its okay to quit if its making you feel like that, and eventually she did. Parents need to pay attention to their teens emotions. Are they happy at their new job or does it seem like they are miserable? Teens need to realize that its okay to walk away from a job if its too much stress for them. Too much stress can cause a teen to walk a dark ugly path. Its okay to quit a job that is not right for them, and they need the support of their parents to walk away when its time. This even goes for adults. Sometimes we get put into situations that are not ideal for us but we force ourselves to deal with it. This kind of stress is not good for anyone.
Teens don’t see the value in riding public transportation though they can save hundreds of dollars by doing so. When teens own cars they are often are driving older ones and those cars use more gas. Additionally, allowing your teen to get their license too early will result in higher insurance costs. This is especially true when its their first job, since they have no idea how much they will be spending on gas. Talking to them about the cost vs expense can help but demonstrating with real money will get the point across more drastically.
To do this lay out how much it costs to take the bus each month and then next to it lay out how much your teen is expected to waste on gas. This should help them realize they are literally burning money.
Does your teen know how to spend money?
If your teen is not used to having money they may think its okay to spend it ruthlessly, and they might go through money rather quickly. Its important to talk to them about the importance of a savings account. Allow them to decide how much of their paycheck goes to savings but talk about what they would like to do with the money they save.
Teens don’t often realize that in this day and age punctuality is key to keeping their job. There are so many adults looking for work that your teen can easily be replaced. Talk to them about arriving on time, wearing clean uniform, and ready to work. Punctuality is key to keeping a job