Your kids aren’t going to be kids forever. Sooner or later they’re going to find themselves facing the scary world of work. You can’t hold their hand during their first day or make every career choice for them. You can, however, help to prepare them and make sure they at least know how to work responsibly, even if you can’t ensure they always act on that knowledge. Here are three big differences you can start making early to help ease them into the responsibility involved with managing a job.
Get them career minded
When your older child starts talking about getting a job, often to make some money in the summer holidays between high school, it’s time to start talking about their career in general. Their eventual plans are up to them and what passions they discover in their education. But you can prepare them for careers regardless of the field they go into. You can teach them about gathering experience and skills and learning to put them on a resume. You can help them learn how to sell themselves at an interview. You can start communicating the importance of skills such as time management, cooperative relationships, problem-solving and so-on. The building blocks of a career start from that very first job.
Make sure they’re prepared for the job
Then there are the smaller scale ways they can be more responsible with the job they’re actually in. They’re not used to a work routine, not fully disciplined yet, so you can help them pull up their socks and behave like a young professional should. Make sure they know the route and the commute so they’re not late. Teach them about dressing appropriately, whether it’s a blouse and smart skirt for the office or Dickies work pants if their role is more hands-on and demanding. Make sure they have a thorough morning routine of grooming, breakfast, and taking their lunch with them. Talk with them about their work schedule so you can help them keep it.
Start teaching them about money now
The input of a job is one thing, but they have to learn about the output, as well. You don’t have to dictate how they spend the money they earn. But you can start teaching them vital money lessons now. You can talk about savings and goals and how to budget in order to meet them. Talk about delayed gratification and how planned purchases are often much more rewarding in the long-term. For instance, if they’re willing to not spend their earnings right now, they could end up being able to afford a trip with their friends later in the year. You can even teach them about credit and how to avoid falling into the pitfalls of using it irresponsibly. Your children aren’t going to learn these lessons at school, after all.
Make sure you strike the right balance, above all else. You want them to grow up conscientious and diligent, but you don’t want to deprive them of the joys of youth too much in order to teach them a lesson.