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How do I Prepare My Teen for Their First Job?

How do I Prepare My Teen for Their First Job?

Q: How can I prepare my teen for their first job?


A: Preparing your teen for their first job will help ensure their entry into the working world is as smooth and successful as possible. Here’s how to help your teen get ready for their first job.


Talk about their goals


Help your teen hash out their goals before looking for their first gig. Sit down with them and ask what they hope to achieve with their job. Defining their goals and expectations will help your teen find and keep the job that suits them best.


Find out if they’re eligible


Depending on your teen’s age and the protocols of local businesses, your teen may not be able to work at an official position just yet. Many companies only hire employees who are age 18-plus. If your teen is underage, you can guide them toward an unofficial position instead of a real job, such as mowing lawns, walking dogs or babysitting for neighbors.


Share salary expectations


It’s important for your teen to know what kind of paycheck they can expect to get at their first real job. Explain to your teen that people working for 20 years will earn more than someone working their first job. Talk to them about work experience and how they can anticipate their earning potential growing with the passage of time.


Resume polishing


Draft a resume with your teen. Ensure it provides info on their education as well as their professional goals and aspirations. Include special skills they possess, along with any extracurricular projects they’ve been involved in and organizations they volunteer for during their free time.


Job hunt and application process


Once you’ve narrowed down your teen’s skills and work goals, talk to them about effective job-search strategies, such as checking online job boards, visiting local businesses and networking with friends and family. Encourage them to explore part-time, seasonal or entry-level positions that match their interests. Once they’ve found a few possible job options, guide them through the application process, including sending their resume and follow-up emails.


Interview prep


To help your teen prepare for their first job interview, review common interview questions they can expect and come up with responses that will leave the best impression.


Talk about finances


Once your teen has landed a job, it’s time to talk finances. Here are some work-related money topics you may want to cover:


  • Tax implications. If your teen is earning money, they may need to pay taxes. 

  • Direct deposits. If your teen already has their own checking account, talk to them about having their paycheck directly deposited into their account.

  • Saving and investing. Your teen’s first job presents a perfect opportunity to discuss saving and investing. 


Your baby is growing up too fast and wants to look for their first job! No worries; you can still teach them a thing or two. Use this guide to help prepare your teen for their first job.

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