Helping Young People Succeed at Work


(15 January 2022)

Talking to Teens About...Working

This Tool Will Help You Lead the Conversation

On the Same Page

Have you had the talk with your teen? Not that talk. The one about getting a job.

Perhaps you want your teenager to start working but they do not know where to begin looking—or how. Or maybe they are eager to start working but you are not convinced they have thoroughly thought the idea through.

Regardless of your teen's posture on the subject, you will find a great tool to stimulate and guide a discussion about working here: Work Readiness Quiz.

The Work Readiness Quiz will help you lead the conversation with young adults about getting a job.

This one-page document features 16 questions that will help you lead a conversation with your teen about getting a job. These questions will flush out important issues, such as where they might like to work, when they will be able to do so, and how they would get there.

The quiz will also introduce them to the tactic of contacting friends and family to help them find a job that interests them, as well as the concept of drafting a simple written document, the Work Flyer, that could dramatically improve their chances of finding a job they like.

As a parent, this is your opportunity to succeed. You can play a helpful role. Perhaps you might help them financially, so they can tune up their wardrobe or transportation. Or you might connect them with people you know at companies that might hire them. Another boost parents can provide is by pursuing simulated interviews with their teen children, so they can sharpen their communications skills before actually talking to potential employers.

Reaping Benefits While Avoiding Pitfalls

For many high schoolers, getting a great job can be a big boost to their development. Not only do they stand to gain extra spending money, they stand to meet interesting people, develop and demonstrate responsibility, gain better understanding of products and services, and learn to educate customers.

The alternative to finding a satisfying and nurturing job is finding a tedious and dreaded one. This scenario can lead to disillusionment with work and working. Without guidance, your teenager may just take the first job that comes along, one they soon become bored with and perhaps cynical about. Now is a good time to fend off such an unwelcome outcome.

Many kids do not know where to begin looking for a good job. Or how to approach their job search. They may not have thought about answers to questions they are sure to encounter. And they may not have thought about how they should comport themselves when meeting with potential employers.

What many teens need is a roadmap to first-job success. They need a guide that will put them on the right track, informing them how to contact companies that interest them and how to make a good impression when they do. You can be that guide.

–Greg Kagay


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