Getting a job as a teenager is like taking on an extra subject, one that cannot be taught in school. Real learning about the world, and the people in it, can come from getting a job. If teens are working with the public they will learn to listen to and respect strangers. They learn that they cannot say what they want or they may be sacked. A part-time job will teach your teen to be self-motivated. When they go to college or into the world of work they will know how to cope. The teen years are the time to start training them to use time wisely. They must start deciding how best to use their time for study, work and socialising. It can all fit.
Here are ’10 ways to’ guide your teen in a job:
- Usually after Junior Cert the time for a part-time job has arrived. There is something out there for every teen.
- Support them to find the right job for them.
- Your teen must commit to and be responsible for the job they take on. Mum or Dad cannot pick up the pieces when they do not show up for work. A note into the boss will not be permitted.
- If your teen cannot make it into work they should call to explain their absence themselves or they have to organise someone else to cover the shift. They have to acknowledge they are letting others down.
- Parents should never get involved in workplace issues.
- When issues do arise, support your teen to talk it out. Help them to explore options around resolving workplace issues. They will learn so much about life and grow with great confidence from doing this.
- If they struggle to manage a part-time job, along with other activities and social time, then perhaps their energy levels need to be looked at. You will have some work to do with them around capacity building.
- You may think they will be sacked the very first week but encourage them to learn from any mistakes and to keep going.
- During the school term, it is possible to study and to work and try not to pretend they can’t. The highest achievers out there are usually the busiest of people.
- Believe in your teen and they will believe in their own abilities. It is not about earning at the end of the day (although that has its charm), it is about learning survival skills and gaining self awareness.
This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.