As parents, we have a lot of hugely important jobs when it comes to our children, and the most important of all is making sure they’re ready for adult life. There are many different elements that need to come together to make sure that can happen in a positive way, and although it’s good for your child to learn things on their own through trial and error and make their mistakes for themselves (and make those mistakes count), the more prepared you can help them be for life’s challenges, the better their future will be.
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One truly important part of this is their first job. They’ll never have come close to knowing what it’s like to work somewhere before, and when it comes to being interviewed, they’ll have no clue. Although you can’t be there with them (as much as you might wish you could be!), preparing them in advance as much as possible will definitely help; it could make all the difference. With that in mind, here are some of the things you can do to prepare your child for their first job.
Build A Strong Work Ethic
Have you noticed how some people have a good, strong work ethic and others don’t? This personality trait might not seem all that important as your kids are growing up, but when they start applying for jobs and potentially getting interviews, it becomes one of the most important things about them, and you can help them improve it.
It’s true that some people just seem to have an innately positive work ethic, but it’s also true that if your child is less receptive to work, you can build that positive work ethic up – or at least help in that department.
One option here is to set a good example from the time your child is very small. Children often learn by watching what their parents do, and if they see you working hard and being positive about your job (as much as possible, at least – there will always be some bad days), they’ll be more inspired to follow suit when they’re older and have to find jobs for themselves.
Something else that can work wonders is to give your kids age-appropriate chores and tasks to do around the house. This helps them understand responsibility and also gives them a chance to feel an achievement linked to their work, which can help them feel a lot more positive about a career years down the line.
Write A Resume
You can’t – or shouldn’t – write your child’s resume for them, no matter how much you might be tempted. They’ll need to do it themselves so they can understand how the process works and what should be included, for example. However, what you can do is guide them, and this is actually something that can be hugely important. After all, you’ve written your own resume and you know what your child’s achievements in life are, so you’re perfectly placed to help them write their own resume, ensuring they don’t miss anything out.
If it’s been a while since you wrote your resume or you’re not quite sure where to begin, looking for resume templates online can be an excellent place to start. These will have all the elements your child will need to craft the ideal resume that will get them an interview at the very least. Make sure they include their contact details, work experience, qualifications, and a personal statement that gives some more information about themselves to any prospective employer.
Give Them Financial Knowlege
Before your child enters the workforce for the first time, it’s useful to give them plenty of knowledge when it comes to finances. Without this information and experience, it’s possible they’ll just spend every penny they earn right away without understanding why that’s a bad idea.
Teaching them how to budget and manage money and ensuring they understand how taxes work might not seem all that exciting, but it is crucial if they’re going to be able to live on their income in the future, whether it’s a large one or, as will most likely be the case when they’re just starting out, a small one.
It’s also wise to give them as much information on saving and investing as you can. Encourage them to put a small (or larger if possible, and if they’re still living at home, then it should be possible) amount of their income into a good savings account from the very first paycheck so thatit becomes a habit they can rely on for life.
Improve Their Communication Skills
Something that is going to be a non-negotiable element of anyone’s first job – or any job at all, come to that – is having good communication skills, and this is something else you can help your child with to prepare them for the world of work.
Firstly, always practice active listening, which is about paying close attention to what people (and specifically your child in this care) are saying. Then you need to ask questions, and give thoughtful responses. When you do this, it means you’ll get a better understanding of the conversation and what’s being asked of you, and your child will pick it up as a habit they’ll instinctively use at work. That means they’ll impress any employer and they’ll always know precisely what to do.
It can also be useful to help your child become a better speaker through public speaking, and if there’s a course or clubs for that (which could encompass a debating society, for example) then have them join in. They’ll get much better confidence and be able to speak to anyone about anything, which is ideal for work when they don’t know who they’ll need to communicate with on a daily basis.
Work can be stressful, and as much as you might want to shield your child from that fact, they’re going to find out sooner or later. That’s why one of the best things you can do when you’re preparing your child for their first job is to help them know how to manage stress well.
Rather than pretending stress doesn’t exist, it’s far better to acknowledge it and set your child up with a variety of different de-stressing techniques to help them stay mentally healthy. Yoga, deep breathing, mindfulness, and journaling are just a few examples, but there are lots more and once your child gets the idea of how to de-stress, they’ll be much happier in their new role.
This is a contributed post.
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