Contributed by Suzanne Kleinberg of Potential to Soar
A summer or part-time job must be within your career path
Many teens choose to follow their career dreams through summer or part-time jobs. However, whether you are sure or unsure about your career goals, take the opportunity to try for a job that interests you. Now is the time in your life that you can take risks or try jobs just for the fun of it. So if you want to work as a clown, pet sitter or kids' baseball umpire, now is the time to do it.
Choosing a career path is simple
Actually, choosing a career is an involved process and you should give it the time it deserves. Career planning is a multi-step path that involves learning enough about yourself and the occupations which you are considering in order to make an informed decision. Talk to your friends, parents, parents' friends, friends' parents and guidance counselor. Oh, and plan to change your career throughout your lifetime as industries, technologies and your interests change. So don't put pressure on yourself to know it all now or to find a summer job on that path.
Getting a job at McDonald's or Walmart is not constructive for my future
Many teens make the mistake and think that a job flipping burgers or stocking shelves is beneath them or won't help them in their future career. That is totally incorrect. Firstly, there is no shame in working -- at any job. Even if you plan to be a doctor or a movie director, these types of jobs teach you communication skills, networking, managing relationships and customer service. All key skills needed regardless of your career. Secondly, a lot of these jobs also teach business skills such as money management, inventory tracking and working in teams. It is these types of skills that will be highlighted on your resume that you will use to get your career launching in the future. You can't get these skills watching Jersey Shore reruns. Plus, you may actually have fun at these places.
I can't make a living from my hobby
Says who? When choosing a career path, it makes perfect sense to choose one that is related to what you enjoy doing in your spare time. In addition, people tend to become very skilled in their hobbies even though most of the skill is gained informally. So if you are a gamer, look into getting a summer or part-time job working for a game developer, even if the job is ordering supplies. You will learn from the developers what the job is really like and what skills you need to reach your goals.
If I don't get a response from my job application, then I should just move on
Many people make the mistake of submitting a job application or resume and wait to get a call back. When they don't hear back, they assume that they are rejected. Not true. Sometimes you need follow up with the hiring person. This shows that you have initiative and that you really want the job. Even if you get a rejection, then at least you will know that you should move on. If you are rejected, take the opportunity to ask why so that you can make the necessary changes to get the next job. Don't take it personal -- it is just business. It may take a few calls to get an answer. Don't be a nuisance but do be persistent. Studies have shown that it takes 5-12 times to make a sale -- most people stop at three. Don't lose out because you assume the worst!