By Summer Thornsberry
The summer is coming to an end. After three months of nothing but free time and relaxation, it’s time for yet another school year to begin.
Most teenagers who are still in school stay busy with homework, after-school activities and somewhat of a personal life. Not many teenagers want to spend their spare time at work. However, if you’re one of the few that would like to make some extra money, then here are some tips on how to find and keep your first job.
When going in for an interview, always keep in mind that first impressions mean a lot.
Below are a few tips to help you get through the hiring process:
- Dress professional. A clean pair of khakis and a nice dress shirt for guys or a nice knee-length dress or button-down shirt and skirt for girls would be great for a first-job interview. Short shorts, tank tops or holey jeans wouldn’t be a wise choice. Remember the way you present yourself represents the business you hope to work for soon.
- Be as respectful and courteous as possible. Eye contact is important. Pay close attention to what you are being told, and always remember to smile. Having a positive attitude shows the employer you are a smiling face that is ready to work.
- If hired, keep an open schedule. I know this may be a little difficult during the school year, but availability is a leading role in employment. If you like having spending money, you may need to give up those hours of TV or video time after school.
- Always be on time and prepared. Make a checklist the night before reminding yourself what you need to take with you. Set an alarm, adding in driving time and possible delays. It might also help if you keep your work schedule written down in clear view to keep up with work time. You can even program reminders in your phone.
There are many places that support teenage employment and work around your school time and extracurriculars. Most are fast food restaurants, such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Arby’s, Wendy’s and local pizza places. Don’t forget local businesses such as Tangy Roots as well.
If you’re looking for other options that don’t involve fast food, many grocery stores such as Piggly Wiggly, Food Lion, Kroger and Aldi would be good places to look.
Tie Breaker Family Aquatic Center hires teen lifeguards during the summer and the Hopkinsville Family YMCA is a great place for a teen who wants to work in a Christian environment.
Tyler Harris, 18, has worked at a Dollar General store in Hopkinsville for the past six months. When asked how his life has changed with employment, he responded, “It hasn’t changed much. I just try to plan around my work schedule and if I need a day off I try to let my manager know a week or so in advance so I know my shift is covered.”
Tyler also said, “Even though I work and I get tired, I still plan things out and keep a personal life.”
Tyler said he has missed events such as Little River Days Festival and the Western Kentucky State Fair due to employment, “But that’s just a part of having a job. The money always makes up for it. You get a feeling of accomplishment knowing you worked for what you have.”