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Finding a Summer Job for Your Teen

School’s out for the summer! Is it time for your teen to get a summer job or does your teen want to get a summer job? 

Either way, the job search process can be a bit daunting and overwhelming for you and your teen. I hope that this guide will help you and your teen find the perfect summer job that fits your family and brings great satisfaction!

Determine the commute commitment.

Will your teen need a driver, walk, ride a bicycle or drive a car? If a driver is needed, what level of commitment can the family sustain? A short commute does allow independence for the 14 or 15-year olds who can ride a bike or walk and minimizes the gas expense for teen drivers. Once you determine the commute commitment, start searching the internet based on employers in that area. 

Ask your network.

This is a great opportunity to ask teachers, parents and friends who might have information on employers and summer jobs. You might find great opportunities through word of mouth. You will also learn quickly from the work experiences of others where your teen will be a good fit and find success in the first job.

Check out the company career page.

It is not a one-size-fits all for employers and their minimum hiring age. The laws for a 14 or 15-year-old differ from the laws for a 16-year-old based on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Sit down and help your teen search a company’s career page for relevant information regarding open positions and minimum hiring age for positions. You can also find postings on Indeed.com if you use the search term of ‘summer teen jobs’.

Below are a few employers to consider based on the FLSA age groups. 
  • Age 14 and 15
    • Food Service: Pie Five Pizza, Taco Bell and Burger King
    • Grocery Stores: Buy For Less
    • Veterinary Clinics / Dogwalkers
    • Summer Camp Helper
    • Seasonal positions
    • Frontier City
  • Age 16
    • Food Service: Braum’s, City Bites, Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler and Sonic
    • Grocery Stores: Crest Foods, Walmart and Target
    • Camp Counselor: YMCA and Oklahoma City Community College
    • LifeGuard

Complete a job application.

Most employers use an online application process that will require the creation of an applicant profile. It might also require parental consent based on the teen’s age. Complete the application together to ensure it is submitted 100 percent complete. An incomplete application may lead to a declined candidacy or a delay in the interview process. 

Practice for the interview.

Any great hiring manager will conduct a short job interview. Due to the teen’s lack of work experience, the interview will focus on character, work habits, and communication skills. 

Here are a few practice questions:
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What is one strength and one weakness that you would bring to the team? 
  • Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with another person. How did you resolve it?
  • Tell me about a time when you or a family member received outstanding customer service. 

Think about doing an interview role-play with your teen. The parent asks the questions. Teen answers. It gives your teen a chance to formulate the best answer, hear words of affirmation, and experience the pride that you have for him or her. This is a life-changing moment. Celebrate it!

Learn about youth labor laws.

It is important for parents of a 14 or 15-year-old worker to be knowledgeable of the labor laws and the community’s local curfew ordinances. Teens in that age group have restrictions on the length of their shift and the number of work hours each week.  A great resource for young worker labor laws is YouthRules!. You will find the local curfew in your community’s Code of Ordinances.

Understand the pay. 

As an employee, your teen must get paid at least $7.25 per hour, which is the federal and Oklahoma minimum wage. Most employers will require direct deposit for your teen’s paycheck. 

Your teen’s first job is a great opportunity to learn responsibility, good money management, and people skills. Good luck to both you and your teen!

 

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