Every parent wants their teenager to succeed, and part of that is learning how to get along and do a good job in the workforce. Helping your teen prepare for the workforce is not something that can be accomplished in one day, but is something that you can prepare them for over several years. When your teen is old enough to get a job, you can help your teen now by making sure they understand all the ins and outs of being employed.
Tip #1. Start Early
Make sure you provide your children with increasing levels of responsibility, whether that is chores, pet care or other duties. Allow them to work out how to solve smaller problems, than increase as they age. Critical thinking skills should be encouraged as well, so that they can stand up for themselves. Mastering social skills like speaking clearly on the phone, making eye contact when speaking with others and learning to communicate their thoughts are also important. Find teaching moments in everyday life, such as commenting on what you liked about a cashier or what you didn’t like about a store clerk’s performance.
Tip #2. Work Ethic
One of the most difficult things to do is teach children how to develop a strong work ethic. Make sure you give your teen praise for a job well done and constructive criticism for tasks that are lacking. Model how you want your teen to receive feedback and talk about what they can do to improve aspects of the job they are doing, whether its chores, a school project or helping a neighbor. One of the best things you can do to teach your teen about work ethic is to talk about the work that you, your spouse and others are doing, and what it takes to be successful in those fields. It’s even a good idea to point out instances of people who have experienced failure for not having a strong work ethic. As your teen interacts with those in the working world, they will soon see for themselves that work ethic is rewarded.
Tip #3. Talk About Finances
In general, teens will have little idea of how money works in the adult world. From paychecks to taxes to budgeting, it’s never too late to discuss finances and being responsible for money matters. Make time to discuss how income tax works and how people make decisions about withholdings and so forth. Include talks on the importance of saving vs. spending and perhaps open a checking account in your teen’s name. If your teenager will start to pay for some of their own expenses, such as gas for the car or their cell phone bill, work out a budget with them and show them how to make those payments.
All in all, helping your teen prepare for the workforce will give them a big advantage over their peers who have not been properly instructed on how to enter the workforce. Your teen will have more success at a first job when you’ve taught those skills he or she needs to thrive.
What skills have you taught your teenager that will be valuable in the workforce?