Your Teenager’s First Job

It’s that time of the year when your teenager is asking about getting their first job. However, you are scared that no one will want to hire little Johnny or Suzie. Their hair is too long. They wear the same clothes all the time. Furthermore, the only words they seem to be able to communicate are: “can I have some money?”, “can you give me a ride to my friend’s house?”, and, “whatever!”

It’s times like to these that it helps to remember what it was like for you when you got your first job. Your parents talked to you about making a good first impression. Hopefully they also talked to you about making a legible job application, and looking people in the eye when you talk to them. Then again it might have helped if they also threw in stuff like, shaking the interviewer’s hand firmly, and talking in short, coherent sentences.

Oh sure, you’ll get a lot of guff about freedom of expression concerning their hair, or the appearance in general. But, that’s a good time to throw in the thing about life not being fair and that people do judge your appearance. You might also ask “just how bad to you want that first job?” If they still appear not to be too motivated, you might discuss removing their allowance, and any privileges until they obtain said employment.

The one thing that always works wonders with teens when it comes to motivating them is reminding them of how bad they want that new video game system, or mp3 player (fill in your choice of any electronic gadget). It is usually at this point that the “light” starts to turn on in your teenagers head and he (or she) says something like, “Hey, how about that job down at “Taco Sludge” I saw posted yesterday?”

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About Rich Andrews

Rich has been married 20 years to his wife Laura. They have 4 children together, one with many special health and learning needs because of velocardiofacial syndrome. They homeschool 2 of their 4 children. Rich has been a stay-at-home dad for the past year after working in social services for 15 years. Laura works from home full time as a medical transcriptionist. Both parents have degrees in education and have done a lot of research on health- and family-related issues. The Andrews family is committed to living a healthy lifestyle, a commitment that has become more important to them than ever after Laura was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis shortly after the birth of their fourth child. Rich worked for 9 years as a Child Protective Services (CPS) Case Manager, investigating allegations of abuse and neglect. He has also served as a Guardian ad Litem for children in divorce cases involving custody and has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for child welfare cases, representing the best interests of children in court.