Lessons 101: Your Teen’s First Job

Parents tend to start a lot of conversations with the phrase “When I was your age” and I have to say I used it so much this weekend with my son.  We are pushing him to be more social and to get a job. This has been the hardest thing I have done with him so far as he doesn’t want to work and believes that his future career goals will be enough once he turns 18.

When I was his age (17), I was chomping at the bit to get my first job and be as independent as I could as a teenager.  In all actuality I had my first job at 16.  Since then my work ethic is strong and I like going to work. I like the fulfillment I get out of it and my own money is always nice.  I wish I was a kid again to not have the responsibility of bills but of course as a mom I know nothing. ☹

I took him to the mall yesterday and he was miserable.  Every place I suggested to him was “beneath” him.  So with the advice of a friend, I will be filling out online applications for him and making him do the follow up. This way he is not so selective and he gets pushed to do it.  

How did your child get their first job?


  1. My daughter swam on the swim team growing up, and was able to start teaching evening swim lessons at the high school pool when she was 14yrs old. My son began working when he was 15yrs old as a receptionist at the local sports barber shop. Both my kids worked from this point on ~ even thru sports seasons, college, etc. If they wanted spending money & gas money, they had to earn it outside of our home. They’re appreciative of this now that they’re adults!

  2. When I turned 14 and found out I could work at McDonalds I jumped right on it! I feel like the younger generations don't fully grasp the concepts of money. I have a few friends who are in the same boat where their kids don't want to get a job, but want money. It's such a shame, but being excited for them helps.

  3. Great points! My first job was when I was 15, I was a cashier at Party City. My kids are still young (9,5,&4), but I definitely plan on helping them get a job and learn their independence when they are old enough.

  4. I am a kid never had a job before, but lots of opportunity to gain experience especially though volunteering. I think building a portfolio and resume is important.. Also acknowledging new jobs.. that are created through online and technology helps


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