As the school year comes to a close, you may wonder what your child should do with extra time this summer. This summer you might want to consider a hands-on learning experience by helping your child get a summer job. Your child’s first paycheck will bring much excitement and provide a great opportunity to encourage responsible money management, financial literacy, and a strong work ethic.
Is your child ready for a summer job?
In Iowa, the U.S. Department of Labor website states employment and age certificates are issued by both the Iowa Workforce Development Department and their school. Additionally, an employer may require minors 16 or 17 to obtain a work permit.
Just because your child is an appropriate age to receive a work permit, it’s possible they are not ready for the responsibilities of a job just yet. Ask yourself the following:
- Is my child a good student that can complete homework on time without being told to do so?
- Is my child good with other people and trustworthy? Even if they won’t have a customer facing job, they will need to be able to have positive interactions with co-workers and bosses.
- Does my child have the time to commit to a job, or do extra-curricular activities take a majority of my child’s free time?
Finding a summer job
Summer jobs can help children gain interpersonal skills and turn feedback into growth for future employment, putting them ahead of peers that do not have a job. Getting a summer job can provide a learning opportunity in itself through creating a résumé and networking.
Help your child create a résumé highlighting their skills, community involvement, and any awards they have earned. Once the résumé is ready, it must get into the hands of potential employers. Networking is important for teaching your child to reach out to friends, neighbors, youth groups, educators, and other trusted adults about potential employment opportunities where they can leave their résumé.
Getting a job interview
Your child may be anxious once they get a job interview, especially if they’ve not had interview experience before. You can help your child by doing a mock interview with potential questions that may be asked. Some examples might be:
- Why are you interested in this position?
- How have your school assignments or extra-curricular activities prepared you for working for our company?
- Can you tell me about a difficult project you recently had and how you handled it?
- Do you prefer to work in a team environment or do you prefer to work alone? Why?
- How do you plan on being successful in this position?
Also help your child pick out an appropriate outfit for their job interview and explain how appearances help form first impressions.
Managing a paycheck
When your child does get that summer job, they will undoubtedly need a safe place to keep their money. If your child doesn’t already have an account, Hills Bank offers GO! Checking and GO! Savings Accounts designed for children 12-17. Help them open their account if they don’t already have one by helping them gather their Social Security Number and opening a joint account with them. You can show your child how to write checks, track spending with online banking, be responsible using a debit card, and create goals and budgets while saving money for a car or college tuition with Manage My Finances. It will also be a good lesson to go through their paystub and teach your child about navigation of tax withholding for federal and state.
At Hills Bank, we want to be your partner in teaching your child financial responsibility. Feel free to contact any of our Personal Bankers to learn more about our accounts specially designed for kids.