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Adults, Whats Your Advice for Teens Who Want to Start Working?

How do you write a letter of reccomendation? How do you fill out an application? How do you set up a bank account? How do you prevent your workspace from becoming toxic and etc? 

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Reply by Kylie


I have a little bit of experience with this being that I am 18 and I just entered the work field after trying for the past two years.

Community service is extremely important for teens as a lot of places won't want to hire you if you straight up have no experience. It can also help give you work experience that you can add onto your resume, which will make you stand out compaired to other teens applying. Volunteer work can also fall into this category as well!
It's a good idea to try to get involved with clubs, organizations, and/or sports teams as well because this tells employeers that your also an active community member, you can work in a team, and you're a sociable person.
It is okay to tell white lies on your resume, literally the whole process of hiring is finding the best liars who will tell you exactly what you want to hear, but it's also up to you to keep these lies believable as well, if you're a teen you obviously won't have a degree in computer programming or anything like that.

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Reply by Noisy


  • If you haven't graduated highschool just lie about it.
  • Your friends and family can be your references.
  • Apply for jobs you don't have the qualifications for.
  • Avoid hard labor if you can, that's factory work and lawn service and junk.
  • Standing around that much is going to hurt, get insoles or crocs.

Opening a bank account is easy, some of them you can do online. I personally use Ally Bank but it might be ideal to go for whichever bank has the most ATMs around you just in case you ever need to get cash. There's a chance you could do it online or over the phone but if that doesn't work go ahead and ask a friend or family member for a ride to the bank and they'll walk you through it. As for keeping a workplace non-toxic unfortunately you have very little control over that. People don't like working and it'll show in ugly ways. You'll meet distressed people wherever you go. What's more important for you as someone new to these situations is to know how to let stuff go. You'll feel frustrated and angry but so are they. When you make room for forgiveness of rash actions you'll get some back, and if you don't then it's time to talk to a higher up.

Most important of all is to remember that your boss is not your friend. You'll hear stories about people with that one in a million perfect boss, but don't count on it being yours. The only way to get ahead in any business is to step on others and your boss knows that. Working harder might get you a raise, but it won't get you a new position. If you're doing too much work you'll make your fellow employees look bad and put them in a bad place, and you won't get paid any more for it. If you're too good at your job and you don't ask for much, it becomes too profitable to give you a promotion of any kind.

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Reply by Sean


Your best bet in an entry-level, no-experience capacity is to look for customer service jobs at large corporations. That means phones. Health insurance companies pay decently for this and have great benefits. Get familiar with rudimentary health insurance language- stop/loss, deductible, premium, etc.- and learn how to read Explanation Of Coverage ("EOCs") documents. How are diagnostic x ray and lab (DXL), or durable medical equipment (DME) covered in an outpatient hospital vs doctor's office? There's a lot to learn, most of it hugely boring, but once you've learned it, you can move to claims processing, contracts, etc. where you don't have to deal with customers. Make sure to note in the header that, despite not having any experience in this field, that you understand it thoroughly.

As far as how to fill out applications goes, they're pretty straightforward. But if you have no experience, write a cover letter and include it with the application. State your reasons for why you want the job and why you think you'd be good at it. Is it retail? Talk about how you love their store and are friendly, outgoing and helpful.

Oh, for interviews, I have no advice. I'm terrible with people. But youtube probably has some good tutorials.

Most employers won't want young people because they typically have no experience and are, sorry to say, unrealistically entitled. The lack of experience will be expected- if you can demonstrate maturity, seriousness, calm demeanor and a knowledge of the subject, this will definitely increase your chances of getting a job. Knowledge of the field though is probably the important thing.

My personality is such that I HATED phones, but I knew people who did that job for years and liked it. Perhaps you have that type of outgoing personality, in which case I say to hell with customer service- try sales/telemarketing. 

To gather references, if you can get a retail job and stay at it for, say, six months, have your friends give you references- have them lie and say you were a co-worker, and the smartest, most organized, professional, lovely, wonderful human being who has ever existed. Don't have an ethical problem with this- management will be lying to you the second you start.

It does take work to get a job, and don't be discouraged when you get rejected. It's impossible not to be, but just keep at it.

If I was younger and had a car, I would 100% go with Uber or Amazon deliveries. You can't gather any references, but damn, no coworkers and you decide what your schedule is?

Setting up checking accounts is easy- go to a bank with, say, fifty dollars and tell them you want to open a checking account. It's a pretty fast process that usually only requires ID and a Social Security card, and oftentimes a bill with your home address on it. If you're under 21, I think a parent can cosign for you and get you a better plan (no minimum monthly direct deposit, overdraft protection with lesser fines, etc.) Before you sign anything, make sure you know what the account's details are re: monthly minimum, overdraft, etc.

Toxic work environments don't really exist outside of alarmist TV shows. But if someone is messing with you, don't bother with your supervisor unless you trust them- get Human Resources involved. Your supervisor may want to sweep conflict under the rug, and if it is a legitimate grievance, they'll most likely have to contact HR anyway. If you don't have an HR department, yeah, go to your supervisor. Make sure to document the date and time you brought this to HR's or your supervisor's attention, the name of the person you discussed the issue with, and what exactly the issue discussed was in case you need to get a lawyer involved. If you do have to get a lawyer involved, do not under any circumstances lie to them- they are on your side and know you're not perfect, and they need to know everything so as to know what to talk about and what to avoid talking about. Lie to management, who are not on your side, not to your attorney, who is.

Hope this was helpful and good luck!

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Reply by Brittney


My advice would be go for it! Find somewhere that will work with your school schedule and don’t be scared to try it! I worked nights at a small factory while in high school and I loved it and made life long friends (they were all older than me but they loved me and taught me so much about life!) 

Also, never let having a job overwhelm you! If you are stressed out about school work and your job is making it harder quit because at the end of the day, your education is so important! I fell behind in school because I loved my job so much! I looked forward to going in and would go straight to bed after work and never did my homework!

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