When you think back to your first job, what were some major life takeaways? Was it more than a paycheck that filled your gas tank? What about your professional growth or potential career path?
Unfortunately, many teens are struggling to find a summer job. Andy Challenger, vice president at Challenger Grey reported that teen hiring is expected to be slightly lower in 2018 than in 2017. Which begs the question—why?
One possible reason is that employers are looking for potential, more ideal, employees that have more experience and education. Yet, how is a teen expected to gain work knowledge if he or she is not even being considered?
The once plentiful job positions that teens traditionally held during summer breaks are now being filled by these “ideal employees”. Being beat out of summer employment has resulted in some perceived benefits though.
MarketWatch reported that teens are actually taking summer classes and putting in community service to benefit their upcoming college applications. While ensuring that their near future is covered, teens are missing on crucial long-term skills that they could be building. Professor and director of the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University Paul Harington commented, “Work is a strong complement for going to school. It predicts improved employment experiences and higher wages and reduces the likelihood of future unemployment.”
What Teens Can Do
One of the best ways for teens to ensure they are qualified for a summer job is to gain experience. While the experience may not involve pay, it may result in being considered for a job in the future.
Through volunteering, teens will not only have the opportunity to create a professional network while doing good in their community, but they can include the skills gained and projects managed on their resumes.
If you’re a teen, or a parent of a teen, without a summer job, look into your local charity organizations. You may find that by giving your time, you will receive an invaluable gift for your future -- work experience. For tips on how to apply and interview for that next job, visit the My Resume section of Junior Achievement’s JA My Way.