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Job Shadowing Article

Summer Jobs: Your Teen’s Ticket to Success

By Colleen Langenfeld

Looking for something productive for your teens to do this summer? Consider the following ideas.

Volunteer jobs
Local Parks and Recreation departments, the Red Cross, libraries and hospitals many times offer teen volunteer programs, especially during the summer. Likewise, check out your local zoo and tourist attractions.

Some weekly or day camp programs use teen volunteers or even hire teens to do onsite jobs ranging from supervising younger campers to maintenance work. Potentially, a teen who starts volunteering as a preteen or young teen may gain the necessary work experience to be considered for a paid position in the following summers.

Community service
Check in your area for civic organizations that have a teen branch. Some of these are very active and wonderful places to make friends with similar interests and work ethics. Likewise, these teens learn valuable networking skills at an early age.

Paid work
If your teen is ready and eager for a paycheck, help her along by polishing her job-hunting skills. Go over the classifieds together and discuss how a person chooses the appropriate job/s to apply for. Role-play an interview and make sure she knows what it means to “dress for success.” Pick up a sample application from a fast-food restaurant and fill it out together so your teen will know the types of information a prospective employer will require.

For all of these positions, the real opportunity is in learning to be a person of character. Developing dependability, integrity, honesty, listening skills, personal initiative and more is the real paycheck from each of these types of summer teen activities. Teens who learn how to navigate the people and systems of the work-a-day world through actual employment and volunteer positions often have the upper hand when it's time to enter the “real world” of adulthood.

This summer, show your teen how to make his time off really count. Encourage a part-time volunteer or paid job, and watch your teen's self-confidence soar!

© Colleen Langenfeld

Colleen Langenfeld delivers useful tips and creative resources to working moms who want the best for their families and careers at !

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