No one will “give” you a job. You have to earn one.

We have been bombarded with phone calls and emails from teens who—want to “GIVE” them a paying job.

This may sound silly to some of you. Unfortunately for others they are serious. For those of you in the later category, I hate to break this to you but does NOT give out jobs. In fact, no one does!

You have to EARN a job.

You earn a job by first preparing yourself for employment. By 14 years of age you should know how to:

Read with understanding,
Communicate with good grammar verbally in English and in writing,
Do basic math accurately (add, subtract, multiply and divide),
Take and follow directions,
Get along with others.

Beyond that, you should have some sense of what you ‘can’ do as well as what you would ‘like’ to do.

Once you have some idea of what you can and would like to do, identify places in your immediate neighborhood where you’d want to work.

Be realistic. If you don’t have a car or public transportation, don’t consider a job that may require this. If the minimum age requirement is 18—don’t bother trying if you are younger. By the way, how do you find out what the minimum age is? Ask! Call them up or walk in the door and ask. It’s that simple.

Be creative. Think of all the places in your local area where you’d fit in. For example, if you like animals perhaps you could work at a pet store, zoo, grooming salon, animal shelter, or start a business walking dogs or cleaning up after them.

Employers want to hire people who can do the job they need getting done.

You have to dress in appropriate business attire. You have to complete an application correctly. You have to speak in your business voice when interviewing. You have to make eye contact with the interviewer. You have to share information about yourself to the interviewer that demonstrates you can do the job (or in some cases learn to do the job) BEFORE you can earn the job.

Once you land a job, and in return for your services, you get paid—either with money and/or experience.

Remember, no one will give you a job. You have to earn one.