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There are few things better than receiving your first pay. Starting work and earning money represents independence and financial freedom, as well as helping to build self-reliance and self-esteem.
As a parent you can help your teenagers in their job search, while also encouraging them to take responsibility for the process.
The age you can start work is dependent on where you live. In Queensland, for example, the minimum age for employment is generally 13, however this can be lowered to 11 for supervised delivery work that involves delivering newspapers or similar. There are also stipulations around hours that can be worked and different rules for working in different industries. To find out what limits apply in your State or Territory, visit Fairwork.
Work with your teen to discover what their ideal job would be. Maybe they have strong IT skills and could assist in a computer repair shop; or if they enjoy talking to people, they might enjoy a service job in retail. Finding their strengths will help them identify a job they enjoy as well as build their confidence.
Your teen will need to write a resume. Although they are not likely to have much work experience to list, they could include a statement up front about what makes them employable. They can also focus on:
They will need references too, from family friends or teachers. There are a large number of resume templates online.
You may have friends that have their own businesses that could place your teenager in part-time work. Or their school friends may be able to recommend them for a position at places where they work. Other good places to hunt for part time jobs include local businesses and shopping centres. Ensure your teen is dressed appropriately and has enough printed resumes to distribute. It also helps to choose non-busy times to approach shopping centre staff about potential jobs, when they are not busy serving customers.
Many bigger companies and franchises have job seekers register for job opportunities online.
Should their resume stand out, your teen may get interviewed over the phone before meeting with the employer in a face-to-face interview. It is worthwhile researching the company prior to an interview and knowing its values beforehand. To help them prepare, have a mock interview where you get them to answer typical interview questions and talk about their strengths.
Once you child is ready to start work, you should apply for a tax file number (TFN) for them, otherwise they may end up paying the highest tax rate upfront. Once they have a TFN, they can use this to open a bank account for their pay. You can help them shop for an account that suits their needs.
Depending on how much they earn each month, they may need to open a super account too. While retirement may be the last thing on their mind, this is a good opportunity to have a chat about the importance of saving for the future.
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1. Check your teenager is old enough to be employed.
2. Help them identify their skills and strengths and build their self-confidence by reflecting these back to them.
3. Ask friends or contacts if they can suggest job openings, or if they would provide a reference.
4. Get them to write a resume that can be tailored to individual employers or job opportunities. You may like to check the spelling and grammar.
5. Encourage them to register online for jobs at places they would like to work and visit local businesses to seek work.
6. Practice interviews with them and let them know what they did right while giving them gentle guidance on where they could improve.
7. Help your teenager to choose interview-suitable clothing and look professional.
8. Do not forget about the paperwork – a tax file number and identity documents for work or banking and, possibly, opening a super fund.
9. Be open to questions about saving and investing money as well as how to use it in a way that gives them maximum value. Talk to them about saving goals and priorities, and compound interest.
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