As the school year comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about what’s next. For high school students, the summer often involves some kind of paying job or internship. These come with challenges, since the working world operates by different rules than the school environment does. Work attire? Phone etiquette? Firm handshakes?!
Transitioning into the workforce (even just for the summer) can be scary, but there’s one secret weapon that can make a world of difference. Preparation can make anything new feel more achievable. In this blog post, I’ll share with you my thoughts on how young people can prepare for summer jobs—and how educators and parents can support students as they venture into new territory.
Growing up I didn’t really have much pressure from my parents on what career path to choose. My mom would always say, “You can be anything from a clown to a poet to a doctor, but you’re going to be the best one.” Easy, right? Often, students want to do a great job at their interview or their first day of work, but they don’t know how.
Well, practice makes perfect. These Boom Cards can help students get ready so that they know what to expect.
Resume Builder by Speech Cabin
Your students need a resume…but how to get started? This tool helps them think through the 5 most important sections of a resume. By the time they have completed filling out the answers in this tool, they will have a resume written! This also can be used with adults who have had cognitive events (stroke, TBI) to help them recall past jobs, hobbies, and interests.
Job Interview Skills by SLP for every IEP
This unit reviews 25 separate interview scenarios. The student will read through a scenario and decide whether or not the action or question is appropriate or inappropriate during an interview.
Reading Receipts by Learning with Teacher Tix
These Boom Cards focus on reading receipts. You may use them to target life skills, prevocational skills, vocational skills, reading comprehension, visual tracking, visual memory, and many more.
To discover more Boom Cards on vocational and prevocational skills, we recommend searching the Boom Store under Occupational Therapy > Prevocational and Vocational Skills. You can also type the category of job that the student is applying for directly into the search bar.
Summer jobs play a key role in helping teens gain practical experience. They also offer the opportunity to explore different job possibilities and build a professional network. At work, students can apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations and cultivate a strong work ethic. Practicing a topic like “interview skills” will be of benefit—no matter what the young person does in the future. They will probably need to interview again one day, whether they plan to work after high school ends or continue their studies.
It’s nice to get a paycheck, but summer jobs are not just about earning money. Rather, they help teens to develop transferable skills that will benefit them no matter what they do. The skills they build on the job, from time management to teamwork, are likely to help them into adulthood. At the same time, vocational skills are unique abilities, different from the qualities they need to succeed in the classroom.
Students with job skills and summer job experiences have a significant advantage in the college application process or in future job interviews. Teach them how to talk about themselves in a positive light. Have them explain how they overcame challenges on the job. By effectively highlighting their experience within resumes, cover letters, and personal statements, students can showcase their capacity to learn and grow.
Don’t forget to provide students with additional resources, including websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, or links to local job boards. Students may also be able to take advantage of career counseling services, job fairs, or mentorship programs that offer guidance and support. With the help of community resources, students can learn how to be “the best” version of themselves—with a better chance of success at anything they choose to do.
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