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So you want your teenager to get a job
May 11, 2017

Topic: Houston Swim Club 

So you want your teenager to get a job…

At HSC, our Leadership Team prides itself on our leadership of future professionals. Most of us are parents, most of us have risen in the ranks at HSC, and most of us began our careers pounding the pavement, filling out applications and interviewing until we found a minimum wage job.

We empathize with teenagers when it comes to barriers to entry into the workforce, especially in Houston, Texas! Furthermore, we all have immense appreciation for young adults who are seasoned with basic job skills: timeliness, appearance, hustle, attitude, communication and confrontation, etc.

The leaders at HSC are passionate about being part of young adults’ professional education. If you’d like to be part of that education as well, here are some top tips that we think may help…

• Don’t ask for a job application for your teenager, if they want a job, have them do it. If you want to coach them, or check out the place they might be working at, consider coming through the door separately, observing your teenager’s interactions from afar, and coaching them on how they did.

• Eye contact, handshakes, greetings, manners, grooming—these all mean something and they’re easy to learn.

• Summer job applications are due by spring break—at the latest.

• We want workers, not vacationers. If your teenager has a packed schedule full of club sports, vacations, concerts, or summer school—they most likely won’t be working. Summer is a fantastic time for all of the above, but for those of use in the service industry, we need a team who will show up.

• Once your teenager does get the job, teach them to hustle, to work harder than the next person, and to therefore make themselves invaluable immediately. Hard work is not a talent—anyone can do it.

• Teenagers are extremely smart. Being able to use their intelligence on the job is immensely valuable for us employers, but only if it comes with humility and accountability. Teenagers who know how to admit mistakes, say sorry, understand that they’re in a position to learn, and that they are not “doing us a favor by working here,” will go far.

• Lousy employers are definitely out there, and your role is undeniably to be their advocate, but do your best to let your child do the legwork if they have a grievance. Encourage them to speak up, and how to do so professionally and without causing workplace drama.

• Similar to the above, don’t contact your teenagers employer unless she or he is incapacitated. Let them be the one to call in sick, request a change in schedule, talk about a concern, etc.

I hope you found this useful—together we can improve our future professionals!

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