Sue Scheff: Helping Your Teen With Job Searches

7 Ways Parents Can Help Kids With Job Searches
Source: Radical Parenting by Vanessa Van Petten

Parents often walk a fine line between wanting to help their kids find a job and making their child feel nagged and overwhelmed. There are few things to keep in mind when helping your child with the job search:

1) Know they are feeling scared too

I often hear parents complain that the reason they are helping their kids with the search is because they do not think their kid’s are taking any initiative. This may or may not be true, but if you are feeling nervous and scared about them finding a job, then they are probably feeling it even worse. Be sensitive to the fact that they might not be showing you how vulnerable they really feel.

2) Approach Carefully

You can ask once or twice in a few day period if your child needs help. If they say no, back off, they might need their space, otherwise they might feel you are nagging them. This is also a rather sensitive subject and can be packed with all kinds of emotion. Be aware of your tone of voice and body language so that you do not make your teen feel they are being attacked or less than, that they cannot find a job.

3) Remember: What You Do Might Not Be What They Do

What is or was best for you in the job search might be different for them. Try to be aware of their needs and interests when helping them search for a job so they can find something they are truly fulfilled with. Often times parents and kids do not see eye to eye on the job search because they have different interests and needs.

4) Elevator Pitches and Networking

If you are going to take your kids around with you to network, be sure to teach them how to network.

5) Start With Your Network

The best way to get a job in a down economy is to tap into who you already know. When I was hiring over the past few months, I got hundreds of applications. People who came recommended to me from friends and family moved to the top of the list, got a longer interview and started on a good foot because we had a mutual connection. Introduce them to friends, bring them to dinner parties and lunches. You never know who is looking!

A great way to beef up their potential hiring rating is to make sure they have a strong personal brand and online reputation. Here I have listed many ways to manage your personal brand and online reputation.

7) Entrepreneurship is an Option

I started my company when I was 17, went to college and then moved home to do it full time when I was 22. It took about 8 months of debt to begin to turn a profit. If it was not for the support of my parents, I do not know what I would have done. Here are some ways you can be supportive of young entrepreneurs:

Overall, it is a good idea to let them know you love and support them no matter what, in this economy, job searches can be stressful on the whole family.

Vanessa Van Petten is an amazing young adult that offers great insights, articles, thoughts, books and to help us better understand teens!

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