Friday, October 12, 2007

RM column September 28th - Working Teens

RM column September 28th - Working Teens

I'M a proud Mum, the Young Wan has decided to do some volunteer work after school and I think it is great.

All summer long she has gone on and on about wanting to get a part-time job. Once it doesn’t affect school and homework I have no problem with working whatsoever. Getting a job is a good thing and teaches them so much.

Course by the time her next big exams start to come round she will not be allowed to work. The only downside and a big one at that to working as a teenager is allowing your school work to suffer. Or the other scenario where the youngster maybe works semi full-time over the summer and thinks the money is their pocket is so good that they either start to let school seriously slip or they leave altogether.

And yeah at first the money in their pockets is great and they might feel loaded. Then they hit their 20s and the money no longer seems that great at all. Meanwhile their pals are finishing college and able to command more money. So while I will encourage herself to get a job, there are limits around it.

So by working part-time, not only do teenagers have a little money they have earned themselves but they learn how to cope in a work environment but being only 15 no where will hire the Young Wan.

One place asked her to send in a CV; normally that would seem like a pretty standard request, but how does a 15-year-old have a CV? I mean what do you put on it? Okay there is your name, address, contact details and education to date and well, eh that’s it. She has never worked and the experience section wouldn’t read too well with ‘I wash dishes, badly!’

And having your Mum as your referee is hardly reassuring for a potential employee. So bearing all this in mind the Young Wan then decided that she would try volunteering in of the local charity shops.

The first one she approached was delighted and told her to start that week on her school half day.

Speaking to her afterwards I don’t think she was all that impressed, I don’t know what she was expecting. But it was just herself and an older woman working, the Young Wan even got to work the till.

I would have imagined that working the till was something you had to work up to. Next week she could be out the back steaming the clothes, I should send down a pile of ironing for her to do while she is at it.

The highlight of her day was a cup of tea and a biscuit. But she is going to stick at it, which is brilliant. She even heard of other volunteering she can do at a local hospice and is seriously considering doing that.

So not only is she giving some of her time and giving back (even in a little way) to our local community, she is gaining experience and something to write on her CV and when the time comes to apply to college all these things will be good too. Well done darling.

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