I have shared before how my goal as a parent is to raise a person, and part of that process is getting our children to support themselves. Children can bring immense joy to our lives, but they are a drain on our wallets. We work to have enough money to live and one day retire, but this would be appreciably more difficult if our children were to live with us indefinitely. In order to get them out of the house, they need to have employment. As someone who has upwards of six high school students as my employees, I would like to share 7 steps to help your child get a job.
Step 1: Prepare for the application process.
Parents, do your children a favor and prepare them for how to apply for jobs. You should not do the job application for them. They can receive coaching from you on what they should or should not put on their application, but do not do the applying for them. Also, do not call about the job for them. If they receive calls about the job for which they have applied, do not do the talking for them. Pass the phone to your children, or take a message for your child to call the potential employer back. TEACH them how to navigate the application process, because you cannot do their job for them.
Step 2: Teach them phone etiquette.
It is important that your children know how to communicate on a phone. Many will have smartphones on which to use various apps and text with their friends, but those apps will not get them a job. Your child needs to know how to answer a phone POLITELY. Perhaps you guide them through ways to answer their phone so that they do not address a business or potential employer with “what,” “yes,” “can I help you,” or other impolite phone greetings. Your child will also need to know how to hold a conversation on the phone. For many employers, this is step one in their job screening process. Lastly, ensure that they set up their voicemail and regularly empty their voicemail. It’s rather difficult to get a job without a voicemail box or a full mailbox when you do not or cannot answer your phone.
Step 3: Teach them how to interview.
Prior to sending your child on an interview, give them a little coaching on what to expect and how to behave. Remind them to dress appropriately for the occasion, even if it is a casual place, they should put their BEST foot (appearance) forward. Remind them to begin the process with a polite greeting and a handshake. Throughout their interview, encourage them that they should maintain eye contact with those whom they are meeting and to provide thoughtful responses. Encourage them to do their research on the business and to have a thoughtful question for the end of their interview. Remind them that how they end should be as good, if not better, than how they began so they should end pleasantly and shake hands again.
Step 4: Do not attend the interview with them.
As tempting as it may be, do NOT go to the interview with them. If your child is not old enough to drive themselves, wait outside. Do NOT go to the interview with them.
Step 5: Prepare them for not getting the job.
Despite the many gifts and talents that your child may possess, they might not get every job that they go after. Prepare your child for the potential to be ignored, to not hear anything, and how to respond to job rejection. Remind them that something could fall through with another candidate, and they could be the #2 choice. They could STILL get the job later or at a future date. If they really want the job, they can always apply again later. They might get it, they might not, but their persistence will not go unnoticed.
Step 6: Teach them how to be good employees.
Learning to be a good employee doesn’t happen overnight, but with a little coaching and guidance, it’s possible.
Remind them that there are 10 skills that require ZERO talent:
- Being on time.
- Work ethic
- Body Language
- Being coachable
- Doing extra
- Being prepared
If they want to go far in their workplace, let them know that those who are high-performers have these 7 characteristics:
Remind them to always be polite to their coworkers and customers. Coach them on how to dress appropriately for the workplace. Courtesy, communication, and respect go a long way.
Step 7: Do not call their jobs for them.
Unless your child is incapacitated, you should not call their job for them. You do not work for their employer, they do. If they have questions about their start date, training, work attire, or anything else, they need to do the asking. You can coach them on what to say, but you should not do the calling for them…
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk 😉
I wish you the best of luck in getting your children employed, supporting themselves, and one day out of your house.