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9 Ways to Motivate Your Teen to Get a Job

Updated on November 8, 2015

Today’s teens have a lot to do. They have a workload from school that is greater than what we adults experienced. The stress and pressure to fit in is very real. There’s also video games, computers, phones, and loads of socializing. So, how do you motivate a teen to find a job? By providing your teen with reasons to make money. You have got to show them the benefits to working or even starting their own business. You’ve got to listen to what they are saying and, as a parent, help them find a resourceful solution.

1. Point Out What They Can Buy

If you do nothing else on this list, do this one thing: whenever your teen points out something she or he wants, let them know that they could have it if they had a job. It is really as simple as that. Does your teen want more video games? He could have more games if he got a job. Does you teen want the latest iPhone? She could have the latest iPhone AND be on her own plan if she got a job and worked for it. While you are point in out what your teen could buy if she or he had a job, make it a point NOT to buy the items for them. Instead, keep gifts for the gift giving holidays and only purchase for your teen what she or he actually needs.

2. Go Over the Numbers

Sit down and review the amount of money your teen could earn from a part-time or full-time job. Use minimum wage as the base example. Show her that if she works just 10 hours a week, she will make X amount of dollars, minus taxes. Discuss what she could do with the money once she earns it. Talk about saving a portion of it ever week for the future, putting a portion aside for some big ticket item she wants, and how she could use a portion for every day spending.


3. Learn About Teen Millionaires

Who doesn’t want to be a millionaire? There are numerous teens who started their own businesses and went on to become millionaires. Get your teen interested in these people - the haves. Send them articles on teen millionaires and have conversations about them. Discuss the work ethics of the world’s millionaires and actively get involved in taking on the habits of successful people. If you “test it out,” your teen just might join you to see if the change makes a positive difference in his life.

4. Look Into Small Business Ideas

Not everyone is meant to work for someone else. If your teen is refusing to work for someone else, then it is time to explore small business ideas. Get involved in the Small Business Administration (SBA). Get your teen to attend small business courses at the community college and events sponsored by the SBA. Get her a subscription to Entrepreneur Magazine and check out a few episodes of Shark Tank.


5. It’s All About Connections

If your teen is a social creature, then show him all the connections he can make just by getting a job. Not only will he get to know his co-workers, he will also get to meet and interact with customers from all walks of life. If he plays his cards right, he may even meet his next employer and gain a new job with higher pay.


6. Have a Serious Talk

Take time out from your busy day or set aside a whole day to spend with your teenager. Make the day be all about her and her wants and dreams. Find out what interests her and what she wants to do with her life, and then show her some of the things she could do to make her dreams happen. If she wants to travel the world, she can look into jobs that will take her around the world. The two of you could also explore how much package vacation trips cost and figure out how she could work and save up for those trips. The two of you could also spend the day visiting places that are hiring, filling out applications, and gaining interview experience.

By The Library of Virginia from USA (Valentine dance, school  Uploaded by AlbertHerring) [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons
By The Library of Virginia from USA (Valentine dance, school Uploaded by AlbertHerring) [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

7. Check Out Discounts

Most retail jobs offer their employees discounts. If your teen loves a certain shop, find out about the discounts they offer their employees and share that with your teen. Show him that by working for his favorite store, he can get money off to buy more things there with the money that he earns. Discounts are a great incentive for teenagers.

8. Show Your Bills

Living costs money and as parents we shield our children from the stress of day to day living. They usually don’t now about the cost of the electric bill, the water bill, the rent or mortgage, and the cost of groceries. To give your teen some idea of what it costs you to provide them with the basic comforts, spend an hour showing them your bills. Explain to them that sometimes money is tight and that you could really use their help in lightening the load. Don’t ask them for a portion of their check (that is the least motivating thing you can do), but ask them for their help in caring for themselves. Their favorite snacks and upscale clothing costs a lot over time. If your teen could pick up some of their own costs there would be more money available for home projects or family vacations.

9. No Gas Money

When push comes to shove and your teen is still refusing to find a job, refuse to give him any gas money. Sure, he can have a car, but he isn’t going anywhere with his friends unless he has money for the gas tank. It’s a harsh way to do things, but when things get tough and your teen refuses to take an active part in building his life, some things are going to be taken away. Removing gas money from the equation is usually enough of an incentive to get most teens into a part-time job.


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 17 months ago from Oklahoma

      I'm having enough trouble motivating myself to get a job:-)

      Great read!

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