Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Open Discussion

How to Help Your Teen Find a Job Without Losing Your Sanity

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

When kids hit their teens, it feels like your entire world turns upside down in an instant. They would rather spend time with their friends than you. And now they want a job to pay for all of those things they want – like video games and concert tickets.

Job hunting is new territory for most teens. They may know where to start, but they may not know what to do or how to get there.

As parents, it's our job to help our kids through the process of finding and landing a job. We can't do it for them, but we can guide them in the right direction.

Let Your Child Pick the Job

Most teens head straight for retail or restaurant gigs without ever considering other options. These aren't bad jobs by any means, but if your kid is going to hate going to work every day, he may not keep his job for long.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to hate work.

If your teen finds job that he likes and excels at, he'll learn to look at work in a positive way. The Internet has opened a world of possibilities. Teens can work remotely using the skills they already have, like writing, language translation or even web design. I encouraged my teens to think outside of the box. You want to go the entrepreneurial route? Go for it. You found a way to make money with your blog? Great. You love the idea of working at the coffee shop downtown? Enjoy the extra dose of caffeine.

Unless you have reason to do so (e.g. transportation issues), don't limit your teen's job options. Encourage your teen to pursue work in fields they're interested in and that require skills they already have or are interested in developing.

If your teen doesn’t really care what the job is, that's fine, too.

Work on a Resume

A teen's resume looks very different from an adult's resume. Most of us have job histories we can list as well as achievements and responsibilities. If this is your teen's first job, he won't have formal jobs he can list.

But there's a good chance that your teen has done something that resembles work. Maybe your teen helped organize an event at school or served as a teacher's aide.

From babysitting to landscaping work, list anything that your child has done that could relate to the workplace.

Practice the Interview

Let's say your teen's resume caught the eye of the hiring manager and she gets a call for an interview. Now what?

Teens may be nervous (rightfully so) about the interview process.

Coach your teen through the interviewing process. We've all been there. We know what to expect. This is, likely, an entry-level job that your teen is applying for, so the questions probably won't be complicated.

Practicing the interview process will help give your teen an idea of what to expect, so he feels a little more confident and prepared walking into the room. Confidence can go a long way in helping a teen land a job.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.