The time has come to teach my second child how to apply, interview for the first job, and negotiate salary. It is a reminder that we are both growing up. It feels like I am teaching her to swim in the sea filled with sharks. It is my responsibility as a leader and entrepreneur to help our youth — Generation Z.
When I was at school, nobody taught me how to search, apply, and interview for a job. Many adults don’t really know how to do it effectively. I have coached hundreds of clients, friends, friends of my children, and family members on how to make this experience most effective and less stressful. It is a lot harder to teach your own offspring because, you know, they are stressed teens, and you are a parent. This is one of those times that their close friend might not be the most knowledgeable source of information, so they depend on you.
My baby girl, who is 16-years old, had just returned from a successful interview during which she was hired on the spot for her first job outside of helping me with the business as needed and volunteering at the soccer fields with Mom and Dad. She followed the effective process perfectly! This was my second time around helping my own child, but I didn’t want to fail her. We spend a lot of time building her resume and preparing while shaping stories of achievements of her very young career. She did a mock interview with the Dad too. Her effort and hard work paid off.
Many people go through the process alone — some successfully find a job quickly and some suffer for a long while. Those who choose to ask for assistance and invest in the services associated with the job search and resume writing tend to succeed faster but only if the process is followed. Of course, at the beginning of the coaching process, there is always resistance to try and implement the job search or job promotional strategies that I advise. It is unnatural for some people, even when they become adults, to brag about themselves or to reach out to complete strangers and ask for what it is they specifically want.
I don’t know the exact percentage of people who are great at that but based on my experience, there are more people who are anxious than those who are fearless. My 79-year old mother still shares the memories of how afraid she was going to the interviews all of her life — and she has TWO college degrees! No matter how educated or experienced you are, pride and fear prevent people to ask for help and be creative in their approaches to switching careers or progressing in them. Fear puts us in the survival mode, therefore blocking creative thinking. It is definitely not easy for a teen to hunt for their first job.
Everyone is different in the way they approach change, therefore, the only good and practical advice I can give for a job search or career progression, without knowing a person, is to PREPARE.
1. Study the job description
2. Learn everything you can about the company before applying
3. Create and write down the answers to the most common interview questions. Make your answers specific and achievement based.
4. Practice your answers out loud
5. Ask someone to conduct a mock interview
6. Reach out to your friends, family, and colleagues who can potentially help you with the process and possibly recommend you for that specific job.
Once I even asked my former colleagues to interview my oldest daughter as a means of preparation. The result? She won the 1st place in the state at a Job Interview competition with the FBLA chapter — Future Business Leaders of America. To date, she got a job offer for every position she applied and interviewed.
If you are a parent of a High School or a college student, help them if you know how. Don’t assume your child knows how to interview. If you are a teacher, help your students. Don’t assume parents know how to help their kids properly. If you don’t know how to best go about helping a young adult just entering a workforce, seek professional assistance.
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