"My question is how do you motivate your teenager to look for a job? He says he would like having a job and his own money, but feels like he doesn't stand a chance of actually getting a job ...he has kinda given up before even trying."
The first thing you can do to motivate your teenager to find a job is to help him with some of the initial steps. This includes creating a resume, discussing how to dress when going on an interview, and talking to him about how to respond while in an interview. Do a mock interview with your teenager and make suggestions on what he needs to improve.
Read the resume and check for grammatical errors, typos and accuracy of the information. Note that the resume reads well and that it is laid out consistently throughout. A good resume is paramount in procuring employment. You should also help him draft a cover letter if he does not already have one.
It is important for your teenager to understand that he cannot dress the same way he dresses when hanging out with friends. He should dress professionally, neat and clean. Being well groomed is also important when teaching your teenager how to find a job. Encourage your teenager to wear a standard black pair of pants and a white shirt when he finally gets a job interview.
In today's economy, your teenager will have to be aggressive in his job search. On his first job search outing, accompany your teenager. Introduce yourself and your teenager. After the introduction, let your teenager talk and leave a copy of his resume. Instruct your teenager to ask for an interview.
Don't assume that your teen knows the right way to go about finding a job. Ask him questions to understand his thinking and his approach to finding a job. Based on what he says, coach him on effective techniques to finding a job. After coaching my son on how to find a job, he received a job interview after the first "how to find a job" session. Prior to that, he had been trying to find a job for over four months and was getting very discouraged and to the point of giving up.
So, to motivate your teen to look for work, help him “get off the ground” with the initial steps that lead to landing the job, namely:
- Help prepare resume
- Practice the interview process
- Take your teenager out the first time
- Show him how to dress for success
- Teach him to be aggressive in his job search
Online Parent Support: Help for Parents with Defiant, Out-of-Control Teenagers