Job Acquirement 101 for Teens

So, I did another workshop for my teens last night, and this time the topic was how to get a job. 15 kids showed up and while I’ll admit it was a struggle because they were even more rambunctious than usual, I feel pretty good about the outcome. 4 kids even asked me at the end for my full notes to take home, and one of them had brought copies of the resume we made together a couple of weeks ago to show the group.

In case anyone else wants to do a similar presentation (or if you’re a teen yourself, looking for some tips!), here’s everything I’ve got to say on the subject.

Before I get to my notes, I have to give major props to The Balance for having by far the most comprehensive website on the matter of helping teens apply for/get jobs, write their resumes and cover letters, even how best to ask someone to be a professional reference. So kudos to y’all, guys. I couldn’t have done any of this without you.

There’s also a cool and free job application lesson plan available to print out, and if you’re in Rhode Island, then you’ll want to check out the Child Labor Brochure and Poster.

Before You Start Looking for a Job

Think about what you’d like to do and explore your options

  • Like animals? Check with vets and shelters
  • Like children? Check with the YMCA or the library or after-school child care providers or summer camps
  • Restaurants (bussers, dishwashers, hosts, servers) and fast food joints
  • Amusement parks
  • Recreation Departments and summer camps

Online Presence

  • Make sure that what you’ve put online is not traceable
  • Clean up your Instagram, your Youtube, your Facebook, everything
  • Employers do look, and it can make a huge difference

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Branding – Til the Cows Come Home

This little library lady is great, and she was the first that I came across to truly voice my concerns regarding creating a name for yourself online, or “branding.”

She also recently wrote what I consider to be a bit of a follow up piece about the pros and cons of several common social networks.

As for me, I’m quite happy with the state of all of my individual accounts at the moment. I love this blog and I feel that it does a great job of presenting me in a mostly positive and professional light; my LinkedIn account is all business; my Twitter is all off-the-cuff snark; Google+ is floundering about, unsure of what direction to go in but is pretty clean and sober so far; and my Facebook is locked and loaded with my “true” personality. I use a few other sites as well, but those are the main ones – frankly, the others should probably be shut down sooner rather than later…but I just can’t bare to permanently part with the silly little emo time-capsule that is MySpace.

Running a Google search for any variety of my names so far yields only this blog and my LinkedIn, along with a few quasi-regrettable Youtube videos I participated in during my fauxhemian years in the middle of college when I was dating an angst-ridden and substance-addled but otherwise wonderful filmmaking man-child.

The real issue I have is that there isn’t much about me that is terrible politically incorrect and I don’t really believe in censorship, but I am a worrier and I do over-analyze, and sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish the line between sharing my considerable opinions and being unprofessional. This is especially true since I’m obviously trying to become a librarian, which is a career so steeped in tradition but also in a great transformative process and state of flux where new roles and rules are being developed constantly, and also because I want to work with kids and young adults. I have to be all things at once – quiet, zany, serious, fun, reserved, opinionated, youthful, experienced.

I have a job interview coming up next week, so the last two entries in this blog have started to worry me, naturally – one references prostitution, the other is an airing of my semi-dirty laundry with URI. Obviously, I don’t want my blog to appear unsafe or unsavory for any potential students or patrons, and I really don’t want to seem like a trouble-maker to potential employers. However, the reality is that I’m actually quite proud of the content of each entry – the former is not truly about prostitution and rather a hot topic that greatly affects me, my friends, and students across the country and its fully stocked with links to some great articles, and the latter is a snapshot of the David-and-Goliath battle between myself and a money-sucking institution, and I completely stand behind what I said and how I said it.

Ultimately, I guess I want to blame a lot of this hypersensitivity to censoring myself on (what else) the economic situation and subsequent job market. Poverty has a tendency to silence most people while fostering creativity in others, and while I fully acknowledge that I am not actually living in poverty, I am definitely dancing along its edge and I feel that I am also experiencing both of the aforementioned responses. Case in point, there are no virtually no jobs to speak of and I rarely get even the briefest email response to all the resumes and cover letters I submit, so I rail against the system from time to time, and then when an opportunity does present itself, I feel pressed to censor myself because I don’t want to risk being misunderstood.

Honestly, though, I don’t want to work for a institution that can’t handle personal opinions, especially when they’re as thoughtful and educated as mine. My resume, cover letters, personal and professional references, and examples of my work all speak for part of me – but the more frequently updated portions of this blog reflect the fact that I’m also a person, and a good one at that, and I hope to be hired on the strength of all these components combined.

And also on the strength of my snazzy new fall wardrobe.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with this little Wiki article, somewhat related to this somewhat jumbly entry: You know you’re a school librarian if….