You’ll enjoy this interview in our expert series, as Betsy at Long Ago & Far Away Native Arts in Vermont shares her vast amount of knowledge to young job seekers. Check out what she has to say:
1. What are some of the best jobs for teenagers that help gain valuable experience for the future?
Teenagers can learn a lot by working in a position of service–be it as a grocery store clerk, a retail sales clerk–anything where they have to interact with the public and learn how to help people and be of service. Learn about the phrase “the customer is always right”–humility is one of the most valuable assets someone can have when entering the work force.
2. What would be your top 1 or 2 pieces of advice for a teenager preparing for their first job interview?
Best advice is what my parents used to say to me–if you really want the job, keep trying for it. Do not wait for them to call you–you call them. Not to an extreme–but as they say “the squeaky wheel gets the oil”. As an employer, I have learned that if I actively pursue an employee without that employee aggressively trying for the job, it usually does not work out. Let the company know that you are really interested and want the job!
3. For a young person who may want to start a business one day, what would you advise them to do now to prepare themselves for this?
Get as much work experience working for other people as you possibly can. Try different things, work hard, and learn everything you can. Humility, again, is one of your most valuable assets. You are a kid and you do not really know anything, much less everything! Let your employers know that you value their knowledge and experience.
4. Besides what we’ve asked already, what other advice would you give to a teenager entering the workforce for the first time?
Work hard and be responsible for yourself! Get to work on time, communicate if for some valid reason you will not be there (ahead of time, not after you are supposed to be there!!!!). Become indispensable as a valued employee.
I am not saying some of the most obvious things (to me) such as having your cell phone turned off during interviews and while at work–unless your employer wants you to have it on. Do not talk about work on Facebook–I know of a high level executive who made an inside joke on FB about a meeting–which got reported by someone in on the joke– and was asked to find another position. BIG mistake.