Your Teen's First Job

For many teens, getting their first job is one step on the path towards adulthood. Getting a job in the teen workforce will teach important life lessons including responsibility, time management, and independence.  Here are some great tips to ensure they're getting off to a successful start!

What's in a Job

You know your teen. Help them decide the job that's right for them, by helping them identify interests, strengths, and skills. If your teen has a particular interest, help them find work in that area. Your older teens may even want to pursue a particular position to pad a college resume. However, it is not necessarily which job they have, but simply having one. Hard work and dedication are the most fundamental.

Success vs "Failure"

Ensure your child knows your expectations. Succeeding in a job does not mean working the longest hours, becoming employee of the month, or making the most money. Having a job also means trying new things, and not being afraid. It's important to teach them that no job is beneath them, but rather having no job is beneath them. If they work hard and still dislike their job, they've simply learned which kinds of jobs they don't want later in life, and now have the motivation to avoid them.  

Be Realistic

Time management and responsibility are key lessons your teen will learn - and learn fast! Ensure they have what they need to succeed. A job means less time to spend with friends, and less time to study or do homework, but it also means more money and a higher sense of accomplishment. These factors are all about balance and choices. Help your teen appreciate all the benefits of having a job, while ensuring they do not burn out or lose focus.

Summer Jobs vs School Jobs

School-time jobs can be a challenge, especially if your teen is active in sports or after-school activities, in addition to their homework load. Some households encourage their teens to get jobs out of necessity. Do everything you can to set your teen up for success. That might mean working harder during summer to avoid a job during school, or it could mean taking extra time to help them with their studies. Don't forget - this is all a huge learning experience!  

Invite Them Into the Club

Encourage your teen and praise them for their hard work. Invite them into the "adult club" by asking their opinions on household matters; Check in with them about their future and their goals. They're one of you now! Treat their job like the milestone it is, and let them know they are valued for their mature choices and efforts.