Teenage Job

20 May

Letterbalm Not HiringDear LetterBalm: Our daughter is going into her senior year of high school. She’s quite responsible – last summer she worked at a local restaurant and made enough for some spending money, gas for the car and her cellphone during the school year. This summer she wants a job as a paid intern and has been looking hard, with no success. We don’t want to discourage her, but it’s almost impossible to get what she wants. It’s also getting late to sign on at the restaurant, which wants her back. What can we say to her to keep her enthusiastic, but realistic?

–Supportive Dad

You and your wife have good reason to be proud of your daughter. She’s a go-getter at a time when it’s hard for teenagers to find summer jobs. Ms. L.B. says it’s admirable that she wants to broaden her job experience, but it’s your job to keep her pragmatic. Here’s how you might offer her encouragement, yet keep her expectations in bounds:

Eloise, we’ve been watching your summer job hunt, and we want to tell you how proud we are of your perseverance and discipline. Any company would do well to have you as an intern. But we know how discouraged you are because these jobs are so few. Do you mind if your mom and I offer a suggestion? Last summer you made good money working at Giorgio’s Restaurant – it made things easier for you to afford your cell and have spending money throughout the year. That’s something big to consider. If you return to the restaurant this summer, why don’t you spend the next school year working with businesses and organizations to find a paid intern job next summer after graduation? You’ll be able to position yourself better because by then you will have been accepted to college. What do you think? Does this make sense?

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