Is your teen growing bored of spending time at home? Perhaps your teen has plenty of time outside of schoolwork, sports, and other extracurriculars at school. It may be time to encourage your teen to find a part-time job. Having a part-time job during high school has many benefits. Not only will it allow your teen to gain some real-world experience, learn how a business or organization operates, meet new people, engage in meaningful work, and learn about a particular profession, but your teen will also learn valuable skills and develop a work ethic that will only benefit them in further schooling and/or a career after completing high school.

Here are some tips for helping your teen find their first part-time job.

Help Your Teen Build a Resume

What will your teen need first and foremost? A resume. The thought of putting together a resume may make your teen nervous. Explain that businesses seeking high school employees know candidates’ resumes won’t include much professional experience. Sections on your teen’s resume may include contact information, volunteer work, helpful coursework to the workplace, extracurricular activities, skills, hobbies/interests, and awards/achievements.

Depending on the workplace, some employers may require a cover letter with an application. Encourage your teen to utilize resources at their high school to help them craft a proper resume and a cover letter as well as prepare for an interview aside from your help at home. Navigating the requirements of a job and seeking help before it even begins will be a helpful professional stepping stone for your teen.

Encourage Your Teen to Apply to Jobs in Their Field of Interest

Where should your teen apply? Depending on where you live, there may be hundreds of job options, or there might only be two or three close to home. When your teen goes to apply for a job, be sure they keep a few things in mind. First, transportation. Is the job being applied to a walkable distance, or will a car be needed to get back and forth? Consider the transportation accommodations your family is willing to make. Second, how many hours will the job require your teen to work in a given week? Be sure your teen will be able to balance school and other commitments on top of the job. It’s important that the job doesn’t take over their life.

Finally, will your teen enjoy the job and the responsibilities it entails? Encourage your teen to apply for a job in their field of interest. If your teen would like to pursue a job in the construction industry after high school, perhaps applying for a job at a locally-owned construction company would be a perfect fit. Before going into an interview, be sure your teen knows some basic facts about the industry and the job itself. How many hours would be required? What limitations would be placed for workers under the age of 18? Be sure you and your teen have all of the facts while applying for jobs in your local city or town.

Support Networking Opportunities

On a similar note, be sure your teen understands the importance of taking their part-time job seriously. If your teen would like to go into cosmetology after high school, working as a secretary at a salon would be an insightful experience. If your teen would like to work in customer service, working at a local grocery store as a cashier would be a good stepping stone. Whatever your teen’s part-time job might be, encourage them to talk to their coworkers and supervisors about the industry of their interest. Networking is essential in any job industry.

Upon starting a part-time job, your teen should utilize online social platforms to connect with other people in their field of interest. At age 16, your teen can create a LinkedIn page. LinkedIn is primarily a social network for business and career professionals, with more than 500 million members scattered around the globe. You can help your teen set up a LinkedIn account once they’ve been working for a little while to ensure proper information is included on their page.

Practice Social Skills and Establish a Strong Work Ethic

Does your teen have the proper social skills and work ethic to start working? The population your teen works with is important. If your teen is going to work at the local grocery store as a cashier, they must be prepared to see people they may know, make conversation with customers, and provide excellent customer service to anyone that comes in. To prepare for a job in this realm, you can role-play customer interactions to help your teen get comfortable.

Perhaps your local nursing home is hiring high schoolers for part-time work. It’s important your teen knows that senior living facilities, including independent living communities, assisted living communities, nursing homes, and memory care units, are usually for those age 55 and older. Does your teen have the patience and ability to work with elderly adults? Can they handle what comes with working with a population that may have intense medical and physical needs? Be sure your teen is aware of what industry they’re getting into before applying for a job. Alternatively, you can also help your teen prepare for jobs that may take some time to get used to.

As a parent, you can certainly be a helpful source to your teen when it comes to finding their first part-time job. Take the time to build the proper materials before applying, encourage your teen to find a job they’ll enjoy and possibly find future opportunities with, support relationship-building and networking opportunities, and be sure to prepare your teen for the workplace when it comes to social and physical work they’ll have to do. Your teen will certainly benefit from everything they’ll learn on the job.


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