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Teens, Get Off the Couch and Get A Job


By: Julie Wu

When I was a teen, everyone had part-time jobs. It seemed almost a rite of passage and even somewhat admired among peers. Life-guard, retail sales, camp counsellor, waiter, bartender were among the most common. Whether it was to help pay for school, for social activities or an upcoming trip, the extra income was definitely an appreciated benefit.

Summer is a perfect opportunity for teens to stay up late and sleep in beyond noon so how do you get them off the couch?! Although teens live a very different lifestyle today with heavier workloads at school, greater extra-curricular demands, there might be a belief that kids might be better off taking a break? Not so says a recent study, “Adolescent Experiences and Adult Work Outcomes: Connections and Causes” published by the UBC Sauder School of Business. Teens with weekend, evening or summer jobs can gain a competitive advantage later on. And in today’s job market, kids need to seize the opportunity.

Don’t let your kids get stuck, help them get out there. Don’t get them a job but support their efforts and offer your guidance. Any job whether flipping burgers, bagging groceries, stocking shelves, mother’s helper or anything of that nature is valuable. Learning specific skills, customer/co-worker relationships, financial responsibility, time management and more, these jobs will give great exposure to teens. It helps them better understand their future careers, expands their networks and gives them references for future employers.

If they’re not ready for a job out there, consider a job at home or at the neighbours or even become a regular volunteer. Allow your teen to take some of the weight off your shoulders and assign them tasks such as house-keeping, dishes, laundry, vacuuming or consider yard work, mowing the lawn, weeding, paint the deck and window cleaning. Once they get good, there may even be a few neighbours, family friends offering to pay your teen to do their place!

Is your teen or young adult child struggling and in need of some direction, contact AMCAL Family Services at (514) 694-3161 or visit amcal.ca

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