Jobs For Teenagers: Expert Series – Doug of Taos Cyclery

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We recently asked a few questions of Doug from Taos Cyclery in New Mexico. Here are some of his insights when you look for jobs for your teenager.

Some great points about the search process and the interview.

1. What are some of the best jobs for teenagers that help gain valuable experience for the future?

Because teenagers don’t have a lot of work experience yet, they will be
asked to do the most simple and least paid jobs.  This means picking up
after a supervisor and cleaning up, “boring”.

However, the ability to do these jobs well and without complaining will mean moving up into better paying jobs quicker.  The first thing teenagers need to do is learn how to work.

That means doing something repeatedly for six to eight hours.  Easier said than done, as many adults I know can’t do this well.  Busing tables or washing dishes in a restaurant are good jobs for teenagers.

If you like being outside, then try landscaping or construction.  Don’t focus too much on a particular type of job, but on learning how to work.

2. What would be your top 1 or 2 pieces of advice for a teenager preparing for their first job interview?

Prepare a resume.  Even if you don’t have a lot of work experience, list
accomplishments or organizations you have been a part of.

The resume is the first thing a potential employer will see as far as someone who is serious about a job.  I don’t have job applications because anyone can
fill those out, only serious applicants will show up with a resume.

Clean up, not all adults understand teenager’s sense of style.  A potential
employer may not want an employee who does not represent their business

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?

What are your goals for starting a business?  Are you so passionate about
something that you want to pursue it as a business?

Or, are you interested in making a profit?  Both are legitimate questions.  If you are passion driven, become a student of your chosen passion.  Understand that this is a life long journey and become the best at what you do.

Making a lot of money may or may not happen.  If you are profit driven, study
business and how to make a profit in changing economic times.

Be flexible and learn which businesses work in the place you want to live, or live in the place you can make the most profit, or find the best compromise.

4. Besides what we’ve asked already, what other advice would you give to a teenager entering the workforce for the first time?

Work in the service industry when starting out.  Doing service work does
not mean being a servant.

There is a real art to good service and it’s being lost.  If you can learn how to please a customer you will go far.

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