Self-Confidence Boosts for Job-Searching Teens

Psyche Yourself Up to Get the Job You Want

Looking for a job can be a disheartening thing for anyone at any age. This is especially true for you teenagers out there. It’s always hard to hear the word no or to see someone get a job you know you could do better.

After hearing no several times, it’s easy to give up or get depressed. But there’s no reason to let it get to you! Being realistic in your expectations — it is a tight job market out there these days, after all — is the first step in having and maintaining a positive outlook when it comes to finding a job, especially to finding a first job.

And that positive outlook shows. Remind yourself to stand up straight and look people in the eyes when you’re filling out applications or interviewing for a job — and say to yourself, repeat after me, I am a great person. I can do this job. I am smart. I am capable.

Seem silly? It isn’t. What you tell yourself inside has a huge impact on what your outside self is saying. When you feel good about yourself and your abilities, it will show in your body language and your overall demeanor. When you rock, and you do, it will show!

Oh, and SMILE. This may be hard if it’s the tenth interview you’ve had only to not get any of the jobs. But smiling shows you’re open and friendly. No, after all those turn-downs you may not feel all that happy, but this may be the employer that says yes — which is something to smile about, isn’t it?

It’s also easy to lose sight of your good qualities when you’ve had a few rejections. So before your next interview or going to talk with a manager and fill out an application, sit down and make a victory list.

Yep, a victory list. Write down all the things you’ve done right—and well! Like the time you remembered Mom’s birthday without being reminded by Dad. And the time you helped Mr. Stanton across the street keep his lawn mowed when he hurt his back and couldn’t do it himself. That A+ on that science exam. Oh, and don’t forget the time you didn’t smack your sister for using your hair gel. All of these are victories and examples of things you’ve done right.

After you made your list, read it. Now read it again. Don’t you feel better? See, you are a terrific teenager! Those employers just don’t know what they’re missing out on by not hiring you, do they?

Now take that confidence with you into the next interview. Use the nervous energy to show enthusiasm for the job you’re applying or interviewing for. Your eyes will be shining and bright from positive energy so strong the employer will just have to hire you. This one, after all, will know a good thing when he or she sees it.

And if he or she doesn’t? Keep that head held high, tell yourself how great you are and that someone soon will see how much you’re capable of and give you your first job—and they will!


Teen Job Alert: How Not to Get a Job

When it comes to getting a job, you can find more advice than you can possibly imagine. It’s all great information to have and you should definitely read and study as much of it as you can.

What most of that information and advice leaves out, though, is what will really cause you not to get a job. People tell you all the do’s but leave out the don’ts—and the don’ts are what will keep you from getting the job you want quicker than all the do’s done correctly will get you one.

For instance, never show up for a job interview late. An employer will think to himself or herself that if you don’t care enough to show up for the interview on time, you can’t be trusted to show up for work on time.

And never dress like you would to go anywhere but the fanciest restaurant. This means don’t wear your favorite jeans, even though they’re your lucky jeans. Dress up, even if all you’re going to do is go to McDonald’s and fill out an application. The manager will notice, believe me. And he’ll remember you out of all the two hundred other teenagers that applied for the same job.

Don’t take your cell phone. You know to turn it off, but in your rush and anxiety you may forget to turn it off.  If an employer thinks you’ll be spending hours of his or her time making personal phone calls, you can forget about getting the job. Besides, it’s simply disrespectful to have a cell phone ring during an interview, or even while filling out an application at the job site.

Don’t talk too much. Nerves can cause people to babble, and in an interview, this is easy to do. Also, only answer the questions you’re asked. Don’t start answering, only to go off on a tangent about the cool vacation you went on this past summer or your favorite rock group. Even if you’re asked about these things, keep your answers short and friendly — and more important, focused to the question you were asked.

Don’t be overly friendly. You want a potential employer to like you. That’s perfectly understandable, but working too hard at it can make you look fake and won’t earn you any Brownie points. Just be yourself. That’s who the employer really want — and will ultimately get!

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