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16 Last-Minute Tips to Help Your Teen Find a Summer Job

It’s getting late in the summer, and your teen still needs a job. Here’s a simple plan to help you and your teen find 6-8 weeks of summer work.

1) Agree with your teen to be job-search buddies. You will have different roles but you’ll work together. Almost everyone likes working with a buddy, once they get used to it.

2) Make your teen’s job search a fun project. If it’s a project, you can play it like a game. A project has a goal, a beginning and end, and it’s easy to grasp.

3) Figure out on a map what distance he can walk or drive to and call that your search area. Maybe it’s southwest Brockton, the part he can walk to. The two of you now “own” this territory.

4) Create a list of the businesses in your search area your teen could call on. You two buddies can buy a list of businesses from your town clerk for a couple bucks, or pick up a free list from a realtor (moving-in spouses use them), or online at the MA Department of Unemployment Assistance (clunky to use but excellent data).

5) Skip all businesses where teens usually apply: ignore retail, all malls, all grocery, all food service and restaurant, churches, and charities with a high profile. Avoid businesses teens see. Aim for businesses (not banks) that serve other businesses, and might have clutter, or tools or parts or something in disarray, or records or archives that need attention. These companies are your “market."

6) Have your teen write down her skills and interests while looking at these business names together, and talking peer-to-peer. Use the business list to stimulate your conversation. Dig deep. You should mention any activity you ever saw her do well, or which she did better than other kids. Your teen should think of anything she did that she enjoyed or made her proud, even projects in fourth grade, or on standardized tests. The skills and interests she lists are her “product.”

7) Draft up in Word or similar a 3-1/2 x 11 push card to leave behind, just like a politician. Not a resume, just a slim, light-weight paper pushcard. This is his Sales Rep on the Shelf. It works while he’s not there.