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Getting and Keeping a First Job as a Teen

Updated on October 14, 2017
Shaya Lehman profile image

I'm a Junior in high school, preparing for college, and hoping to become a doctor in the U.S. Air Force.

Found on Tumblr
Found on Tumblr

Having a job as a teenager might seem like a big task, but it's actually not very difficult to balance having a job and going to school. I recommend waiting until you're 16, just because it's easier to get a work permit, and deal with the paperwork aspect of it (in my state, anyway).

Step 1: go to different businesses around where you live (restaurants, stores) and politely ask for an application. Sometimes they'll give you one even if they're not hiring.

Step 2: fill out the application. I recommend asking one of your parents for help, especially if they've worked at a place like that before.

Step 3: turn in the application. Make sure you give it to the owner or the manager.

Step 4: they'll probably call you within a few days for an interview. If they don't call, don't be offended or anything, hiring employees is rarely a personal thing.

Step 5: if you get called in for an interview, it's important to dress nicely. I have always been told not to wear a tee shirt, no matter what the place of business is. I recommend wearing a long sleeve, slightly dressy shirt, and dress pants. You don't need to look like you're going to walk the red carpet, but try to avoid tee shirts or jeans. Also, at your interview, make sure to ask them what you're supposed to wear to work if you're hired.

Step 6: after your interview, they'll call you a few days later to tell you whether or not you're hired. If they don't call within a few days, they're probably not going to.

Step 7: for your first day of work, make sure to follow the dress code that you were given at your interview. (Most places will tell you what you're supposed to wear.) Don't be too stressed if you mess things up or you're slow, nobody is great on their first day.

Reasons to get a job as a teen:

~ having an income enables you to go more places with your friends

~ it will teach your responsibility

~ having experience will help you get a job in college (if you go to college)

~ cars and gas aren't free


Tips and Tricks:

~ if you're in high school, it's a good idea to keep your during-the-week hours (Mon-Fri) under 15-17.

~ try not to work every single weekend, it's important for your mental health to have days for yourself sometimes

~ if you start to fall behind in school, ask your boss to lower your hours

~ always remember that your grades are more of a priority than your job

© 2017 Shaya Lehman

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