First Job Guide

Some tips for teens starting their first summer job

For many teens, when school is out, the summer job is in. If this is your teenager’s first summer finding employment, there are a few things you can do to help them be prepared.

  • Search smartly. Talk with your teen about their interests before they begin looking for a job. By doing this, they can try to find a job that they enjoy. Maybe your teen likes being outdoors; they could search for a camp counselor job. Maybe your teen likes animals; have them apply at local animal shelters or vets.
  • Get them ready. As USNews suggests, prepare your teen for the interview process by talking through how they are conducted. Make sure they know to dress nicely and suggest that they make all their social media accounts private, as employers might comb through them prior to the interview.
  • Make them the early bird. Tell your teen that being on time for the job is good, being a few minutes early is great. Focusing on punctuality will set a standard that will impress their employer.
  • Practice honesty. Explain to your teen that the more transparent they are with their employer, the better. If they have summer vacation plans, they should be upfront about the dates that they can’t work. Honesty is always the best policy.
  • Set up savings. Every summer, talk with your teen about how much they should have saved by the end of their employment. This will reinforce the importance of saving and encourage them to set aside cash for long-term goals for the rest of their lives.
  • Let them fail. It’s important to let your teen fail at their job — and that you don’t try to bail them out. This is a learning process, there are going to be bumps along the way. Tell your teen that they’re going to make mistakes, and that’s okay. Then allow them the space to fall and get back up again.
  • Chris O'Shea

    Chris O'Shea