Landing my first job was a snap. When I was younger, my mom worked at a bank. There was a greasy spoon burger joint in the same plaza and, when the owner mentioned they were looking for some summer help, she told them I was looking for a job. As easy as that I was making a princely $3.25 an hour flipping burgers and slinging fries throughout the summer, and carried on a couple nights a week once school started up again.
If your teen is hunting for a summer job, and there aren’t any handy burger shop jobs available, here are some other ways you can help them join the workforce, and tips on what to do with their money once they do.
Be Their Boss
If you have a business of your own, you should consider hiring your kids on for the summer. It’s a key initial step if passing along the business is part of your succession plan. Working for your company at an entry level position will give them a solid understanding of the business from the ground floor up, and senior employees won’t be as resentful when the time comes for a leadership transfer if they feel your offspring have actually earned the title.
Keep in mind though that Revenue Canada keeps a pretty close tab on salaries paid to family members; you can’t pay your teenage son six-figures to stack boxes in the warehouse.
If you are employed by someone else, enquire about summer work programs your company might offer.
Hit The Help Wanted Trail
Failing the above, there are always want ads, storefront signs, and job placement agencies to investigate. Before applying, help your child create a resume that accentuates their skills and accomplishments to date. Experience babysitting, along with a reference letter or two, would help secure a position working at a summer camp or other program working with younger children, but even listing sports, music, volunteer work, or other extra curricular activities will help show potential employers your child’s dedication and commitment to a task.
Remember, if your child doesn’t already have a social insurance number – you need one to set up an RESP account – anyone 12 or older can apply for one at any Service Canada location by bringing the relevant documents.
Money Management 101
Earning their own money is just the first stage when teaching your kids to be financially literate. If you haven’t done so already, you can help them open up a savings account. All the major banks offer youth accounts for children under 19 with no monthly services fees, and a package of free standard transactions.
Of course, the temptation will be there to spend the money as soon as the cheque clears, but you can help teach valuable life (and financial) skills by encouraging your child to save up for a reward – a new bike, an end of summer holiday, whatever they most desire.