How a Teen Job Can Stregthen Your Teen’s Character


Is your teen constantly treating you like an ATM and getting irritable when you can’t give them the money they want?

Have they asked you if they can get a part-time job? You may like the idea but may also have some concerns about it.

Naturally, you want your teenager to focus on doing their best with their schoolwork and any other extracurricular activities that they enjoy. Still, there are significant benefits to your teen getting a job. Whether the job is in retail, food services, or in an office, you and your teen may be surprised at just how an after-school and weekend job can transform their attitude, their focus and strengthen their character.

Character is such an essential part of who we are and is in many ways so much more important than being successful alone.

Learning valuable job search skills

The value of learning how to look for and secure a job cannot be understated. Many young people graduate with their degree and have no idea what their next steps should be to look for a job. They may not even know how to prepare their resume and sit down for an interview.

Learning the job application process as a teen means that they are one step closer to career success and stability by the time they move out of the family home.

They will learn some of the following skills:

  • Creating a resume. Your teen won’t have too much to put on his resume, but that doesn’t mean he has nothing. Put on basic contact details and include extracurricular activities or volunteer experience. As he starts his new job, teach him how to add his new job and responsibilities to his resume.
  • Filling out a job application. Learning what needs to be included in a job application can prove helpful. Sit down with your teen and his first few applications. Some job applications need to be filled out with pen and paper, while others may be online only.
  • Going to an interview. Helping your teen with the task of preparing for an interview is one of the most important things that you can do. Interviews can be nerve-wracking and can leave even a confident teen feeling nervous. Run through a few mock interviews, asking your teen questions that you’ve faced during interviews. Look for questions online and perhaps find a few videos made to show what to expect during an interview. Remember that it’s also important to dress to impress. Even a job with an ultra-casual environment should have your teen dressing up in nice slacks and a shirt for the interview.
  • Completing new hire documentation. Your teen will need to provide documentation to prove eligibility to work. This may include getting a permission slip from school. A birth certificate and driver’s license may also need to be shared when completing the documentation. Preparing your teen for this phase of getting a job will help him learn what to expect when he gets other jobs in the future.

Your teen will also learn what each of those deductions on their paycheck means and may also need to learn about filing their taxes each year. While you may be familiar with each part of the employment process as an adult, they can be pretty overwhelming to a young person who has never had to face them before.

This is the perfect opportunity for you to walk your teen through each step in the process. It’ll prepare them with more life skills as they transition into a job after high school or pursue further education.

Developing a healthy work ethic

It is never too early for someone to learn what a healthy work ethic looks like. Work ethic can look different for different people. Ultimately it refers to how you perform your job and the attitude and behavior towards your job.

This could also include the level of respect shown to co-workers and those you contact when you are at work. Your work ethic can become a part of who you are, a positive part of your character, and it will play a role in how others view you.

A job can teach your teenager the responsibilities that come along with a job and help them to develop a work ethic that will stand them in good stead for the entirety of their career.

Learning money management skills

Money management skills are so important to learn. Many of us reach adulthood without knowing just how important it is to manage and budget our money. Allowing your teen to work and then manage the money he earns can set him up with excellent money management skills as he enters adulthood.

Several apps can help with money management and can prove helpful for a teen who may have a tendency to spend without care. This is an excellent opportunity for a parent to help instill those all-important financial skills, which can help your teen know how to avoid excessive debt and other financial hardships in the future.

Bolstered self-esteem

Working and earning a paycheck can boost a teen’s self-esteem. There are so many lessons and experiences to be had when working, no matter what the job itself may be. When a teenager does a good job at work and earns a paycheck, there can be a marked boost in how they feel about themselves.

Solid self-esteem can be linked with better mental wellness, which can, in turn, be connected to making better life choices. It can also mean that teens are less susceptible to negative peer pressure.

This increase in self-esteem can continue to grow as your teen spends more time at work and learns that they can do great things at work.

Learning more about life balance and time management

Getting a job can certainly take up a lot of time. For an already busy teen, there is the potential to create an overwhelming schedule. Instead, you can work with your teen to balance their studies, job, social lives, and self care. This is a skill that many of us don’t learn as we get into our careers.

Learning how to balance everything in their lives can allow teens to learn more about what a structured day, week, month, and lifestyle should look like. If your teen seems to be overscheduling themselves, you’ll have the ability to step in and help so that balance can be restored. This is an important skill that can take some time to learn.

Boosted responsibility, punctuality, and more

There are some things that some of us are just naturally good at—being on time, holding ourselves accountable, taking responsibility when needed. Others need to learn these skills. A job can help your teen learn these essential life skills in an environment that will gradually increase his skills and awareness of just what is important.

Someone chronically late to work will learn fast that this is not acceptable and may lose their job. Someone punctual may be up for promotions or a raise. Knowing these important lessons can help shape your teen as he embarks on his college career and ultimately gets a job in his career of choice.

Each of these benefits of working can help to shape and strengthen your teenager’s character. For teenagers who have struggled with their confidence or perhaps found themselves struggling in other areas of their life, feeling productive and earning a paycheck can prove hugely beneficial.

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