Ah, the Summer after exams. Apart from the occasional panic from your teens in the house that they've 'failed literally EVERYTHING' and their lives are over, the main feeling is relief now that exams and revision are out of the way.
Now, it's all well and good having a well-earned rest after the slog of exam season, but the Summer before uni soon stretches ahead seemingly interminably – it's a long time to spend just bingeing on Netflix, looking at memes and sleeping 'til noon.
If you can manage to speak to your teen in daylight hours, why not suggest a Summer job? We've put together a guide of how you can help with applications, and how a part-time job before uni can benefit your future fresher immensely.
1. Channel your inner careers counsellor
Don’t forget that just because you’re dreaming of early retirement and feel far too experienced in the world of work, it doesn’t mean that your offspring know exactly what they want to do or what options are available to them.
Try to help them work out what job they might like to end up doing, or skills related to their upcoming degree, and see if you can advise on some roles that would end up helping them in the long run. For example, if they’re interested in a career in events, why not suggest a role at a local music venue or hotel where they can get some relevant experience.
2. Don’t forget the practical bits
Make sure you offer up your skills as proofreader extraordinaire – they’ll probably need a hand with their CV and cover letters. This will probably bring back traumatic flashbacks to reading and re-reading personal statements, but a good cover letter can help your child stand out, especially if they’re applying for their first job.
Include achievements at school, volunteering experience and their ambitions and aspirations in cover letters and their CV to show potential employers that even if there’s no official work experience listed, your teen still has a lot to offer.
3. Where to job search
If your teen’s main question is ‘but how do I get a job?’, then the best place to start looking would be local businesses that are busier over the Summer months – hotels, restaurants, shopping centres, theme parks and tourist attractions. They will often advertise online, but it’s better to recommend your teenager go in in person to hand in their CV and see what opportunities are available. This is also a great approach for local high street shops who are always looking for more retail staff.
Jobs board Indeed always have lots of jobs listed, and failing that your teen could even advertise their own services locally as a babysitter or dog-walker if they need something more informal and flexible.
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Why a Summer job is a good idea for teenagers
Looking for some reasons to show your teens why a Summer job will benefit them? We’ve compiled a few:
1. The best of both worlds
A part-time job is the perfect way to spend the Summer building up some great skills and earning some spending money, but also leave plenty of time to enjoy themselves and see their friends for adventures before everyone heads off for uni across the country.
The bank of Mum and Dad can’t pay for everything, so it’s the ideal opportunity to give your child the motivation to earn their own money so they can make the most of the Summer. If you’re keen for them to get out the house and toiling down at the coal face, a light threat of no more pocket money works a treat.
2. Think of the life skills
Going to uni and leaving home means one big thing: independence! But, with independence comes responsibility – your teens will probably never have had to think in much depth about looking after themselves.
Apart from the main life lessons you can teach your kids before they fly the nest, getting a part-time job over the Summer teaches them about managing their time, learning new skills along the way whilst meeting new people and earning their own money. The best way to learn the value of money is when they have to use their own hard-earned cash for everything!
3. Bills, bills, bills
This leads into one of the main benefits of getting a Summer job before uni – understanding the real cost of money (once they’ve had to earn it themselves and make it last) will make your excitable teen much less likely to blow their loan in the first week on pick ‘n’ mix and taxis. Having their own income will help them understand how to budget for bills – and for fun stuff too – as well as how to sensibly distribute their loan across the term.
Good luck! Hopefully you manage to inspire your teenager to push out of their comfort zone with a new challenge, but don’t forget that a job before uni isn’t the be-all and end-all. It’s most important that they enjoy their time before a huge shift in their lives, seeing friends and getting prepared if they are moving out. Make the most of them while they’re still at home emptying your fridge!