First Job Tips for Teens: Time to Them to get Independent

Here are some useful tips for teens starting their first job.

Your teen is reaching an age where their allowance isn’t enough for them and they want to start a small job. Middle schoolers learn about business and how to balance a checkbook. They also learn about having a debit card when they reach the right age. School starts preparing your child for the outside world at a young age. 

Teach your child some ideas for earning money

Now it’s your turn as parents to help your child come up with some ideas for earning money. There are babysitting classes for kids that are 12 years of age and up that are offered at the YMCA through the Red Cross. This is a good opportunity for kids to start learning about the value of a buck. If you live in a climate where it snows, some of the elderly neighbors need help shoveling. This is also a good opportunity for your child to be available and many elderly neighbors look for youngsters to help with snow shoveling. Sometimes there are neighbors on the block who can’t get out much and need a few things from the corner store. This is another good opportunity for kids to earn some money. There are paper routes as well for kids age 12 and up and small landscaping jobs in the summer that are available for kids to start earning some cash when they are in that age that they are too young for a work permit.

Teach your child to keep the first job for developing a basic work ethic

When your child reaches that age where a work permit is required and they get their first job, that’s great. The next important step is for them to keep the job so they may have to learn something like efficiency, managing time, not being late and developing a basic work ethic. Working is a great opportunity for teens to build more confidence in themselves. Parents have to make sure that their teen’s first job is successful so your job is to give them a few pointers. Teens have quite a bit to balance. They have seven classes to balance, along with tests, studying and homework. The first thing you want to make sure is that your teen doesn’t get too stressed out. In addition, they have their social life too so they might want to think what hours work for them so they can balance the load they are carrying. Also, parents have to make sure the job fits into their daily routines if you are working and counting on them to help with their siblings.

When your teen makes the decision and decides they are going to pick up some applications, make sure you talk to them about the way they present themselves and how they should dress. The impression your teen makes is going to be long-lasting. If the job is at the animal shelter, they should still dress appropriately for the interview. They don’t have to wear their Sunday best, but a neat and clean teen with nice clothes will do. Body jewelry is the in thing now and some businesses frown on piercings, due to work hazards so you have to inform your teen about this as well.

Job dress codes

If your child gets a job that they wear a uniform, tell them that their uniform shouldn’t be bunched up in their room and wrinkled. They still have to go to work wearing a clean uniform and it has to look fresh for the customers. Most jobs have employee handbooks, so make sure your teen reads the book. These handbooks talk about dress codes, along with safety issues and work-related issues in regards to calling in sick and being tardy. If the job doesn’t require a dress code and your daughter walks out the door with her belly showing, this is not appropriate attire either. Teens that work should wear conservative clothes that fit well and are job appropriate. This includes footwear as well. Their shoes should be neat and clean or polished. People tend to look at shoes and teeth when they talk to an employee or even in general when they meet someone new.

Teach your child about life on the job with a boss and co-workers


Talk to your teen about life on the job with a boss and some co-workers they might not care for. Help them understand that customers can be difficult as well and come up with some coping skills together so they can be a success at their job and not dread going to work. A smile goes a long way in life. Tell them to ignore any snide remarks because unfortunately, the new employee is always the one that has to be on their toes to fit in and do their job right. Make sure they listen to whoever is training them for their position and to take notes. Note taking is very important when training for a job.

If your teen notices that other employees don’t work as hard, that’s not their responsibility. It’s ok for them to come home and vent to you about it, but make sure they know that they have to do their job to ignore it unless it’s starting to affect their work and they are doing a job for two people. Then it’s time to come up with a solution. Teens should also know that their cell phones belong in a safe place and not at work on the floor. They can look at them after work or on their break. If your teen is going on an interview tell them to keep their phones shut off and not to start sending texts while they are interviewing for the job. Jobs watch social media and many people have been fired by companies for complaining about their job online and using the company’s name. This is not okay at all.

Teach your child how to keep a good attitude while working


Working can be time-consuming for everyone if they have other things to do but tell your teens to keep their chin up, keep a good attitude and try and stay busy so the time goes fast for them. This good attitude will impress the boss and there could be a possible promotion or they might be able to hold on to this job during high school and college if they are good at what they do. You can tell your teen they don’t have to brownie up for points but be themselves and be pleasant and do what their boss asks them to do. People that are nice will usually get along with all of the other employees and make sure you tell your teen not to discuss their problems with customers or anyone else at work for that matter. It’s just not professional.


Final tip: Paychecks

The final tip for your teen is to talk to them about their paychecks and what they plan on doing with it. It’s fine if they want to spend some of it on social outings or new clothes, but they have to learn how to budget and realize that their check has to last them until they get paid again. Try to encourage them to save a small percentage of their check so they can build a bit of a nest egg for something fun they might want to do in the future. This is only the beginning of your teen’s life with finances and teaches them that good money decisions will create a secure lifestyle for the future. Teach them they don’t want to spend what they don’t have.