Posted by Dana Fink, Director of Staffing at Glenmont Group
As we enter the start of casual Fridays and Kindle reading lists, I recall a simpler time when summer jobs during school breaks were met with anticipation and dread. Waking up at the crack of noon, dropping a Pop Tart in the toaster and watching all of the game shows and “I Love Lucy” episodes you could stand might be far more enticing than setting an alarm, putting a polo shirt on and reporting to work. Valuable life lessons are learned on the the golf course or walking the neighbors Labradoodle. Labor reports show that the forecast of jobs for summer employment have improved over 2011 . Prior prospects for summer work for teens were diluted by the large number of unemployed college graduates and laid off adults competing for the same jobs. Hiring managers filling seasonal jobs are starting to realize the cost in hiring a recent college graduate or laid-off older worker (who takes such a job but continues their full-time permanent job search while needing time off for interviews) can prove less valuable than a seasonal employee who embraces the job and wants to return year after year.
While paid office jobs are still fairly scarce, the tried and true summer jobs still offer skills that remain core competencies in any employment scenario. Puctuality, marketing, networking, and developing more mature communication skills are still at the epicenter of the most common summer jobs for teenagers. Caddies, babysitters and wait staff cater to adults who can prove to be valuable connections in a post graduates life, either as potential employers or references for full-time jobs. Speak to your kids about the entrepreneurial spirit needed to provide excellent customer service in exchange for continued employment or special gratuities. Help them create a resume or a marketing campaign. The lemonade stand could turn out to pay more than minimum wage when tips are factored in over a ten week stretch of time.
So while investment banks, law firms and corporations offer fewer and fewer internships – don’t discount the values your teenager can learn from smearing some SPF 30 on their face and perfecting the art of whistle-twirling.