|photo credit: The Odyssey Online|
My son came home after interviewing for his first summer job and said, “Ma, they said I gave a great interview.” His voice dripped with proudness. After passing his preliminary interview, my son received notice that he had been awarded a job with a summer day camp. And this is where the story really begins.
At the end of day one on the job, my son came home and said, “The kids didn’t want to do anything. They just wanted to sit in the shade outside or keep going inside the building, saying they were thirsty.”
My son briefly talked to me about his day, then announced, “I’m taking a nap.”
“You only worked four hours,” I said.
“I need to rest, I worked with every group. And I had to tell my partner what to do.”
I told my son that he was learning what having a job was about-responsibility, team work and being flexible.
After two weeks on the job, my son said, “I haven’t been paid yet. I feel like I’m working for free.”
Here was yet another opportunity to discuss the inter working of a first job. In this era of Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter, there are still some things that are not instantaneous. No matter what I said, my son thought he should be paid sooner. Our discussion branched off in several directions.
Some things I attempted to explain to my son, only for him to say, “I know, BUT…” As a result of our conversation, I came up with the tips below for coaching your teen through a first job.
1. Be responsible – remind you teen about showing up at work on time and focused on assigned tasks.
2. Save – “pay yourself first” is a saying I’ve heard often.
Demand Encourage your teen to save money rather
than spending right away. Have a discussion about impulse spending versus
3. Give your best – don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is something you are unsure about.
My son finally received his paycheck and he was very conservative about spending his money. He said to me, “Ma, I need some gas money.”
“Didn’t you just get paid?” I said.
“Yes, but I need to save my money.”
There you have it, my son’s interpretation of our discussion.
What tips would you share for coaching a teen through a first job?