Top Ten Job Traps Teens Should Avoid: Work is Never a Waste

Many teens want their jobs to be exciting, glamorous and be the envy of their friends. But those jobs only exist on MTV. Or, at least they don’t exist unless you have experience. You can’t get a job as Fashion Editor at Vogue or Executive Chef at The Ivy in Beverly Hills without proof that you are employable. You would be surprised at the applicable skills and people that you meet in the most unlikely jobs. Climbing the career ladder starts by avoiding these traps:

Trap #3: Getting a job at McDonalds or Walmart is not constructive for my future.

Many teens make the mistake and think that a job flipping burgers or stocking shelves is beneath them or won’t help them in their future career. That is totally incorrect. Firstly, there is no shame in working – at any job. Even if you plan to be a doctor or a movie director, these types of jobs teach you communication skills, networking, managing relationships and customer service. All key skills needed regardless of your career.

Secondly, a lot of these jobs also teach business skills such as money management, inventory tracking and working in teams. It is these types of skills that will be highlighted on your résumé that you will use to get your career launching job in the future. You can’t get these skills watching Jersey Shore reruns.

Plus, you may actually have fun at these places.

Trap #4: Volunteer work is useless because I won’t earn money.

Not true. You can get the best work experiences through volunteering. Many charitable organizations such as animal shelters are desperate for volunteers. This means that you may be able to do tasks that a paying job would never let you. For example, you may start working at an animal shelter scooping litter boxes but, once there, you may offer to help with fundraising or event planning or marketing or graphic design. These organizations can’t afford professionals and don’t require someone to have experience to do these tasks. Sure you won’t get paid, but you will get an opportunity to try out your graphic design skills and be able to put that on your résumé. Besides, charities are the best places to network and meet really great people.


Published on: May 22, 2012
About the Author
Photo of Suzanne Kleinberg

Suzanne Kleinberg is the founder of Potential to Soar, a unique career and talent coaching service for new graduates, seasoned professionals and corporations, through private coaching, customized workshops and psychometric assessment tools. Her newest book, From Playstation® to Workstation is available in paperback

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