That first job as a teen is almost as exciting as passing the driver’s test and getting a driver's license. There is a certain amount of freedom in both. One represents greater financial freedom, while the other represents freedom of movement. But, with this great independence comes even greater responsibility.
These tips will help your teen make the most of their first job so that they can enjoy greater success. And, if you’re a parent of a teen, be sure to pass these along to your teenager as they prepare for their first job.
Tips for a Successful First Job
There are many things you can do to flourish at your first job. While there may be temptations along the way to sway you from your path, if you do the following, you should be well on your way to success throughout your life.
1. Show up on time. Every time. In fact, show up a few minutes early. This lets your employer know you’re excited to be there — and that’s a good thing for their business.
2. Follow the dress code. This includes wearing name tags, lanyards, and other necessary accessories.
3. Be polite. This one little thing will serve you well in life – even when the other party doesn’t deserve your courteous response. It may be difficult but mastering this skill now will help you as you face greater workplace challenges in the future. “Please” and “thank you” can go a long way.
4. Do the tasks you’re assigned. Chances are some duties will be unpleasant. Do them with a cheerful attitude, even if you have to fake it. Get them over with and move on to more pleasant aspects of your job.
5. Learn to listen. Active listening is a skill that will serve you well in your first job and as you advance in your job and other careers along the way.
6. Explore all aspects of your workplace. Inquire about different areas of your workplace, even if it doesn’t apply to your exact position. Insight into other elements, such as operations, accounting, or marketing, may help steer you towards a discipline you’d like to study in college or pursue as a career.
While many first jobs are not the most glamorous opportunities around, they do provide an excellent foundation for other jobs you’ll have later in life.
Tips to Be Financially Successful as a Teen
Starting your first job is the perfect time to begin learning good financial habits. Put these practices into place now so you’ll be financially prepared when you eventually set out on your own.
1. Commit a portion of each paycheck to savings. Create a rule that a portion or percentage of each paycheck will go into your savings. The 50/30/20 rule is a great place to start! The sooner you become accustomed to routinely saving, the better off you will be throughout your adult life. Genisys Credit Union offers tools, such as direct deposit and payroll deduction, to help make this process seamless and automatic.
2. Create a budget for spending. There are many things for teens to spend money on - from the usual weekend routine to clothes, cosmetics, gifts, special occasions, and the occasional dates along the way. Learn to set up and manage a budget and routinely check your balances through Online or Mobile Banking.
3. Set financial goals. Now is the perfect time to begin developing and achieving financial goals. These goals can be smaller, more short-term goals; however, they’re great practice for larger financial goals in the future. Doing so will help you master the idea of prioritizing spending at an early age. Learn how to automate a savings goal with the Genisys Mobile Banking App.
4. Learn to track your spending. Nowadays, you can pay through various means, such as cash, debit card and online or mobile payments. Not all transactions appear instantly in your account. Track your purchases and monitor your balances regularly to ensure you don’t spend more than you have in your account.
We’re Here to Help!
As your credit union, we’re committed to helping our teenage members find success in their first jobs and learning to manage all aspects of their money.
If you or your teen are interested in learning more about our High-Yield Youth Savings Account, checking accounts in general, or how to create and manage your budget, visit our Financial Wellness Toolbox.
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