Most kids are hungry for independence in the teenage years and the time they're fourteen-going-on-fifteen is when the seeds of 'job hunting' are well and truly planted. But while most search for jobs at fast food chains or supermarkets, those workplaces become a competitive hotspot for that age group.
That's when it's a good idea to look at the independent businesses in your local area. International keynote speaker on motivation, leadership and culture, Rowdy McLean, told The Huffington Post Australia teens need to cast a wide net.
"The newsagent, ice cream shop. juice bar, coffee shop, service station, garden centre, or even the professional service firms, such as lawyers and accountants. Then be so good that they offer you more opportunities and they'd happily recommend you to someone else. Build that strong work ethic and attitude from day one," McLean said.
It's wise for parents to make their teens aware of the level of commitment required for a job and how it will impact their lifestyle: in good ways and bad.
"They need to explore the real reasons behind the desire to get a job and consider how that might impact on their studies, social interaction and recreational activities. It's important that parents ensure that their child will be working in a safe environment," McLean said.
"They need to make sure their child is being treated fairly. Its always good for the parent to build a relationship with the employer so they can participate in conversations about their childs' work, their behaviour, attitude and skills."
"Parents should also ensure their teen approaches work in the right manner. Show up on time every time, be well presented, show a desire to learn."
Michael McQueen told HuffPost Australia retail and hospitality are great industries for teenagers to start their working life.
As well as earning a reasonable wage, a young person learns vital skills in these two sectors like customer service, negotiation, sales/persuasion, responsibility and resilience. Michael McQueen
"Recognise that the transition into work will likely be a challenging one. Your teen may be stretched and even stressed by the demands of a workplace."
"In the first few months, don't be surprised if there are tears or moments of anxiety. Be an encouraging voice but resist the parental urge to rescue or solve the problems. These challenges experiences can be painful to witness in someone we love but they are a vital part of building resilience. Stepping into to rescue will only rob your son or daughter of the learning experience."
Another tip for teens is to think about what they love and find a job related to something they're passionate. For example if your child loves playing golf, he could apply for work as a caddy.
McQueen said it would be fantastic for a teen to get a job in the field they wish to explore, but that is a luxury few enjoy in their first jobs.
"Be content to do work that you aren't passionate about because starting at the bottom builds character and can knock off some hard edges in ways that will serve you well later in life. If you are one of the lucky few who can work in an area you are interested in and passionate about, be very grateful," McQueen said.