Sooner or later, your teenage daughter will begin to crave financial independence. You probably will, too! Once you see your girl is beginning to think about ways to make her own money, it’s important for you, as a parent, to step in and assist in any way possible. The sooner you can teach your daughter the basics of managing money and promoting herself, the better! Here are my five top tips for helping teenage girls make their first steps into the career world.
- Help Her Set Goals
It’s good to dream big! There’s that old saying: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” This is a great adage to tell your daughter, but all journeys begin with a single step. You can play a fundamental and inspiring role in your daughter’s exploration and path-paving.
Whether your daughter wants to get a job to save for a car or vacation, or if she’s determined to land that perfect internship before heading off to college, it’s not a bad idea to help her make a list in a notebook or set some dates on a calendar that break her long-term goal into manageable steps. This will help keep her on track, and it will also keep her from feeling overwhelmed along the way! Checking in every week or so to see what she’s done to accomplish her short- and long-term goals will keep her moving forward and show your interest and support as a parent.
- Build a Resumé
Creating a solid resumé is something that many adults have trouble with, but imagine what it’s like for a teen with no relevant experience! This is a challenge many ambitious and job-seeking teenagers face early on. They may not know what extracurriculars or volunteer experiences will be of value to employers. In this case, you’re truly one of their best resources!
As a parent with years and years of knowledge and experience, you can brainstorm with your daughter to narrow down her most relevant qualifications for a resumé. It’s also a great idea to do research and find the specific formats and keywords that permeate a good resumé. This kind of effort shows, and it tells employers your daughter is eager to get to work!
- Use Your Own Personal Connections
In the working world, who we know is often as important as what we know. This is a serious disadvantage to teenagers, who know very few working professionals. That is, aside from their parents! If you work, you are one of your daughter’s most valuable stepping-stones in finding early, resumé-building work.
Think of your daughter’s passions. Is she a social butterfly? A tech genius? A social media guru? All of these have professional applications, and your adult colleagues might have use for your daughter’s skills! Social media is a massive part of the current marketing climate, and technology is a rapidly evolving part of our life that teens often understand better than adults. If you can find a way to advertise your daughter’s passions, you just might end up landing her a project to help her begin her own promising career.
- Encourage Her to Invest
Teaching your daughter to invest early is one of the most valuable skills you can pass on when it comes to securing her future financial interests. Whenever she lands her first job—whether it be at a fast food chain or a large tech company—encourage her to set aside part of her paycheck into an investment account. Nowadays, there are plenty of investment apps and firms that cater to young investors without a lot of capital. But by starting early, you’re helping your daughter form a financial pillow that will widen her window of opportunity later in life.
This is an especially important skill to teach teenagers, as many have trouble seeing the long-term benefits in certain actions. By forming the habit early, you’re doing your daughter a massive favor that sets her up for success!
There you have it! I hope you find these tips helpful and use them to get your ambitious daughter on her feet when it comes to money management and beginning her career path. Fostering an environment of support when it comes to your daughters ambitions is incredibly important, and I wish you both the best of luck!
Andy Earle is a researcher who studies parent-teen communication and adolescent risk behaviors. He is the co-founder of talkingtoteens.com, ghostwriter at WriteItGreat.com, and host of the Talking to Teens podcast, a free weekly talk show for parents of teenagers.