Teen Needs a New Job


Sarah writes:
Recently I had to quit my job at a local food store and
I really need a new job. I was at that job for six months. Before that I worked
at a sandwich shop for about a year. It’s really hard to find a job
especially since I’m 17. I’ve applied to about 20 places. Any ideas?


The Career Doctor responds:
I know you are looking for work more out of financial necessity than for the
experience but let me first state how important it is for teens to gain work
experience while still in high school — as long as you can maintain your grades.
Working part-time gives you valuable insights into how business works the
role of employees and supervisors and possible careers to follow — or avoid.
That said it will take a lot of work for you to find a new job. I think your
previous experience will be one of your biggest assets especially if you are
looking for another job dealing with customers.
The problem is that many part-time jobs are being filled with adults… people
taking a survival job while waiting for a new job in their profession others taking
a second job to help make ends meet and also older (mature) folks who need
or want to work after retirement. And many businesses feel more comfortable
adults — they have more experience the perception of more dependability
and often more flexibility in scheduling.
So you are going to have a plan. You’ll need to have a resume develop a list of
prospective employers (use your family and friends to see if you have any inside
connections at those employers) submit applications to all the employers and
then follow-up those applications.
Probably the biggest mistake I see with younger job-seekers is the belief that
once you have submitted your application you can sit back and wait for the
phone to start ringing. It is just not going to happen. You must be proactive in
contacting each employer and showing your continued interest in working for
them. Fight for those job interviews.
For more job-hunting resources for teens go to this section of Quintessential Careers:
Job and Career Resources for Teenagers.