Rich Karlgaard’s Advice About First Jobs

Category : Careers

Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes.com, posted a nice column with practical advice for those starting out on careers.

Like almost all of us, Karlgaard had no idea what he wanted to be when he grew up, and ended up working as a security guard after graduating from college. But he figured it out, and did well for himself. And I wanted to pass on some tidbits that users of myfirstpaycheck.com | jobs for teens could benefit from.

  • Fall in love with reading. Karlgaard writes, “It doesn’t matter what the writing is. Whats key is that the kids claim it as their own.”
  • Find a mentor. He suggests that the mentor doesn’t have to be the boss, or even know that you have chosen them, but whats important is to pick “mentors because they had something I needed to learn. “
  • Think like an owner. Karlgaard writes that its easy to pick up destructive habits such as downsizing your view of the world on the bottom of the totem pole. But he insists that you have to fight them off and think big.

I think these all make a lot of sense, how about you?


Little Negative Effect Seen From Pa’s Higher Minimum Wage

Category : Other Stuff

From Philly.com, “When Pennsylvania boosted the minimum wage twice in 2007, restaurants, retailers and other business interests groaned.

A report issued this week by the state’s Minimum Wage Advisory Board shows why they were worried. Businesses in the leisure, hospitality and retail trade sectors employed two-thirds of all of those making minimum wage in 2007.

Business owners complained that increasing the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.15 per hour would raise their costs, forcing them to cut workers.

The increase directly affected 132,800 Pennsylvania workers, or about 4 percent who earn an hourly wage, the advisory board said.

It cited census statistics showing a less than 1 percent decline in employment in retail trade and manufacturing shortly after the two wage hikes. However, employment in leisure and hospitality rose by less than 1 percent during the same time period.

So call it a wash.

Any worry that Pennsylvania is less competitive with the higher wage will be moot as the federal minimum wage rises from $5.85 to $6.55 on July 24 and to $7.25 in July 2009.”

Have you noticed any changes?


HB 2196, the Youth Employment Incentive Tax Credit

Category : Money , Other Stuff

We are proud to join The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce is urging lawmakers to approve HB 2196, a Pennsylvania state tax credit for businesses that employ disadvantaged youth.

Rep. Josh Shapiro (D – Montgomery County) introduced this terrific bill that would encourage business to hire young adults from under privileged households.

Under this measure, if a business hires a young adult who comes from a household with income that does not exceed 235% of the federal poverty level, that business would be eligible for tax credits equal to 70% of the employment expenses incurred. Introduced by Rep. Josh Shapiro (D – Montgomery County), the bill sets aside $20 million for these tax credits.

Putting young people to work is important. We want our teens to have the valuable skills and life experiences earned from working, and its great to see Rep. Josh Shapiro and the state focus on how they can help.

This is not a hand out, but a working solution.

Please contact your state legislators and ask them to vote YES on HB 2196, the Youth Employment Incentive Tax Credit.

From the Chamber, Details of the Bill:

  • Employers must submit an application describing the position to their local Workforce Investment Board (WIB). The WIB will submit applications that meet threshold criteria to DCED for review. DCED will issue a commitment letter to employers that will include the maximum amount of tax credits the taxpayer may claim. Tax credits may be sold or transferred with approval of DCED.
  • Eligible youth are Pennsylvania residents between the ages of 14 and 21, whose median family income does not exceed 235% of the federal poverty level -consistent with TANF grants.
  • Qualified expenses include wages, fringe benefits, related payroll and training expenses, and other related expenses approved by the Department of Revenue (e.g. Transportation).

Immigration Policies Making it Easier for Teens to Find Jobs

Category : Other Stuff

The link is explained in Kate Zezimas article in The New York Times.

She writes, ” In an effort to win support for a comprehensive immigration overhaul, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and its allies have blocked voting on legislation that would allow employers to rehire foreign seasonal nonagricultural workers independent of a 1991 quota.

As a result, the government is limited to issuing the 66,000 seasonal work visas set when the visa program, known as H-2B, became law 33,000 for winter workers and 33,000 for summer workers. Last year, more than 120,000 foreign workers entered the country on H-2B visas.

For Cape Cod, the impact has been devastating. Employers will receive only 15 of the 5,000 visas they had requested, according to the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.

Many vacation towns rely on foreign workers because they can work the whole summer, are affordable, and are happy to work in a beach or resort – those are all qualities teens have too. If you are still looking for something to do this summer, Id suggest searching for a seasonal job in a resort community like these ones.


The Five Things Your Teen Needs to Know About Taxes

Category : Money

Important Tax Advice for Teens:

Here are the five most significant things you can explain to your teenager to help him understand income taxes according to Denise Witmer.

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Summer Job Shortage Squeezing Retailers

Category : Other Stuff

Bloomberg has a great story about the summer job shortage hurting retailers. Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Heather Burke write, “The financial pressures of adults are finally catching up with American teenagers. Since summer jobs dried up, gasoline prices topped $4 a gallon and parents ran out of spare cash, teens have had to cool it on spending for clothes..

Spending by 13- to 17-year-olds is important because in at least the past two years it has been rising faster than total apparel sales. The adolescent demographic accounted for $27 billion, or 14 percent, of the $192.7 billion of clothing purchases in the 12 months through April, according to market- research firm NPD Group Inc…. and Retailers dependent on that group are feeling the pinch.”

Not only is it important for businesses to hire teens to give them experience, but it also makes business sense. We work with many restaurants and retailers who are worried about losing teenage dollars – myfirstpaycheck.com is a great place to advertise for employees and customers.


Teen Jobs from an HR Executive

Category : Job Search

I stumbled across a very good article written by Marlene Prost for The Human Resource Executive Online.

She writes, “Organizations may end up hurting themselves in the long run if the slumping teen job market — with the exception of hospitality and tourism — continues to lag. The tendency to hire immigrants, college-age students and older adults leaves little room for teenagers, who need those summer jobs to learn how to become good employees.”

Its interesting to see that HR executives understand the importance of teenage employment, we just wish others were as forward thinking as Marlene. And we hope that Marlene knows how much myfirstpaycheck.com can help her.

She asks, So Why Hire Teens?” and answers, “The teen work crisis isnt just depriving kids of pocket money; its hurting society, because teenagers are not learning how to work, some experts say.

“A lot of my clients express frustration that they’re more babysitters than employers” for workers in their 20s, Stamer says. “[These workers] lack a work ethic. They don’t know how to be a good employee. They haven’t had jobs and [learned to be] accountable.”

Teens need jobs to learn the value of work, she says. They need mentors and feedback on performance.

“The vast majority [of teenagers and younger adults] dont wake up one day and understand what it is to be an employee, to learn to be counted on, to be accountable, to do well or not. … The workers were not hiring will come into the work force, whether youre hiring them at 16 or 30.”

HR also can benefit from teen employment in several ways.

* Identify and keep the best. “I try to convince my clients to give a performance evaluation at the end, to show where [the teens] could develop, where they performed well. If they were good … provide a financial incentive [next year], a premium,” Mathews says.

* Adapt to the millennial mind. The millennials, born after 1977, are more interested in flexible hours and a work/life balance than salary and benefits, Grasz says.

To attract the best young workers, schedule around school hours and consider offering transportation, Mathews suggests. “The employer needs to get creative. Its not a never-ending supply, especially of good workers.”

* Create summer internships. On a broad level, some cities such as Boston, run large programs that help businesses create paid summer internships.

On a smaller scale, Stamer says she personally hires a few students every summer in her law firm.

“I do it for two-fold reasons: If I do my job right, I get valuable service at less rate. These people are going on and build the world I live in. Im building a safety net for services I need in the future.”


High Job Expectations

Category : Other Stuff

Sandy Banks wrote a column in the LATimes about her daughter’s job search. Her daughter is having a hard time finding a job, but Sandy thinks that one of the reasons is that her daughters expectations are too high.

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Five-Finger Discount

Category : Other Stuff

Now that you’ve landed that summer job, you may find yourself spending a lot more time staring at the same merchandise every day than you thought you would. If its something good (ice cream!) you may get tempted more than you thought. Most employers will give workers discounts for the merchandise. Some will let you take home things free at the end of the day (like food that is restocked daily). And still some may look the other way while you scoop a free cone for yourself and 6 of your closest friends.
While I have been at the receiving end of these benevolent workers, I know it is important to make sure this is okay with the employers. Before taking free samples for yourself, or subtly handing out something to friends, check with your boss on the gifting policy. Chances are the rules are pretty lax, and if not, at least you know the rules and wont accidentally get in trouble.


Teens Spend A Lot of Time Online… Duh

Category : Other Stuff

A lot of people are now reporting on the The Tween & Teen Lifestyle Report that just came out and found, “In contrast, the time youth spend online continues to grow. During a typical week, teens spend an average of 12.5 hours, up from 10.7 hours last year. Tweens spend an average of 6.5 hours online, compared to 5.2 hours last year.”

It also found, “Among online activities, sending and receiving email is at the top of the activity list, followed by instant messaging and playing a simple game. Popular Web sites among teens include YouTube, Facebook, Google and MySpace, while tweens named sites such as Webkinz, Nick, YouTube and Disney.”

I don’t think this is particularly interesting, except if it gets more decision makers to realize how much of tweens and teens lives are spent online.

Someday hopefully myfirstpaycheck.com will be on of the post popular sites for tweens and teens too, but were getting closer everyday.

If youre trying to reach tweens and teens online and are trying to figure out how to do it – we can help, feel free to shoot me an email.


Despite Tight Job Market, Teens Can Still Find Summer Work

Category : Job Search

The Martinsville (Va) newspaper published this article yesterday about the local job market for teens. I cant say that I have a lot of personal experience with Martinsville, but it seems that the job market is pretty similar to whats found in the rest of the country. Unemployment is generally up, but smart, enthusiastic, and prepared teens can still find jobs.

The article states, “Though Martinsville has the highest unemployment rate in the state, teens can still land summer jobs in certain sectors, according to a Virginia Employment Commission official.  In Virginia, I don’t think it will be that bad,” said Bill Mezger, chief economist for the Economic Information Services Division of the VEC, in response to the study. “I think 2008 will still be a fairly good year for summer employment, though not as good as the last two years. The city’s high jobless rate, just above 10 percent in April, comes mainly from the factory sector, a field that would not attract many teens on summer break, Mezger said. However, he added, “The fact that unemployment is higher in the area means there’s more competition for the jobs that are available.” In Martinsville, Mezger said jobs should be available in the retail and service industries where most teens look for employment. Some jobs are pretty much aimed at teenagers, and adults would not be seeking them in great numbers,  he added.”

And suggests (like we do at myfirstpaycheck.com) that teens should look for summer jobs in food service, lifeguarding, and referring.

Hows your job search going?


How to Find a Last Minute Summer Job

Category : Job Search

I wanted to pass on some advice from the great internship site onedayoneinternship.com.

Youll have to go to his site to read the whole thing, which is about searching for an internship but applicable – but basically Willy says,

  • Keep on Truckin
  • Go Local
  • Cold Call
  • Ask Your Parents and Their Friends
  • Consider Unpaid Internships
  • Consider Non-Profits
  • Use Craigslist/myfirstpaycheck.com
  • Schedule an Informational Interview
  • Create Your Own Internship
  • Volunteer
  • Travel
  • Read
  • Relax

What Employers are Thinking

Category : Other Stuff

I wanted to share this good advice I found from allbusiness.com. It’s important to know what employers are thinking when applying for a job. Think about what they are looking for, and how you can help them fill those needs.

What do you think? Do you have any other advice for employers?

Interviewing Prospective Employees

The reason you are interviewing is because you have a need in your business that can only be met by hiring another employee. Your objective when interviewing prospective employees should always be to hire the best possible candidate for the job. Ideas for making this process go smoothly include:

* Create a job description that identifies the most important qualifications your ideal candidate should possess. Include salary and benefit information.
* Collect resumes of prospective employees through such avenues as employment agencies, trade journals, newspapers, the Internet, and through networking. Go through the resumes and select the ones with the best qualifications.
* Be prepared with questions to ask during the actual interview. Review the information listed on the resume to verify its accuracy. Listen carefully to how each person answers your questions, and observe if they have a positive and professional attitude.
* Before making your final selection, let representatives of the franchisor or some of your key employees (particularly those who would be working with the new employee) interview the candidate. Dont rush your decision. Choosing the best person for the job is important to the success of your business.


Job Market Has Room For Teenagers

Category : Other Stuff

MidwestBusiness.com has an interesting article about summer employment for teens.

Unlike many other sources, they write, “While teenagers may experience increased competition for coveted jobs this summer, the economic slowdown is not expected to significantly reduce the number of seasonal jobs filled by 16- to 19-year-olds between May and July. In fact, some seasonal positions may go unfilled as teens avoid areas requiring heavy labor.

Between 1.5 million and 1.6 million 16- to 19-year-olds will be added to payrolls this summer, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That is down significantly from a recent high of 2.02 million teenagers who found summer positions in 1999 but is only slightly lower than the average number of teen jobs added the previous four summers (1.674 million).”

There is hope!

The article suggests (Just like we do!) that the bigger problem is “inexperienced job-search techniques” and suggests (Just like we do!) that “Finding a job as a teenager is just like finding a job as an adult. It requires constant attention and depends significantly on the strength of your network. Use your parents, friends and the parents of your friends as sources for job leads. Try to meet with hiring managers face to face rather than dropping off a completed application form.

Most important, don’t get frustrated by failure. Many teens give up after applying to 10 or 12 jobs and conclude that “no one is hiring teens this summer.” As the chances are good that there are more than 10 or 12 employers in your city or town, it’s necessary to cast a wider net. There are many summer job opportunities outside the confines of the local mall.”

But than the article takes a step back and suggests looking in the newspaper classifieds instead of the job listings on myfirstpaycheck.com, doh!


5 Places Teens Should Look for Summer Employment After Memorial Day

Category : Job Search

Due to their lack of experience, teens often encounter challenges while searching for summer jobs. With the school year about to end, many are finding that it’s too late to apply for some summer positions.

To help our peers, we put together a list of five places where teens should look for the perfect summer job.

  1. Golf Courses. Golf courses are everywhere and have a huge need for seasonal employment. Caddying, landscaping and working in the gift shop or restaurant are some opportunities available to teens.
  2. Offices. Whether it’s helping to answer phones, filing or doing paperwork, there is always a lot going on in an office for a smart and responsible teen to do. Working in an office also provides teens with the chance to learn about being in a professional workplace. Don’t forget to look at the small offices too… many business parks have small businesses that could really use your help with shipping, mailing, packaging, personalizing, or handling customers service like MysteryPotato.com
  3. Museums and Other Cultural Institutions. Summer is the time for big shows and large crowds. Museums are always looking for energetic, enthusiastic and affordable help. Teens provide the perfect fit for these unique opportunities.
  4. Restaurants. Because of high turnover, the restaurant industry is always hiring. Working in a restaurant setting provides teens with a skill set that can be transferable to other jobs as well as provide valuable life lessons.
  5. Volunteer. Although volunteering does not provide a salary, it offers a great way to make an impact on the community. Volunteering enables teenagers to develop skills, network, and strengthen their resumes so they can have a more fulfilling job search the next summer.

What do you think? Any other suggestions?


Toughest Summer Job This Year Is Finding One

Category : Job Search

Plenty of teens want to work but face increasing difficulties landing jobs. Two big difficulties that teens face are connections/lack of connections and access to transportation, butanother overlooked one is a lack of understanding on how to apply for a job. Many teens dont know how to begin applying for a job – let alone compete in a tightening labor market – and that’s why we created myfirstpaycheck.com to give teens the tools they make the job search process a little easier.


Creative Summer Job Ideas for Teens

Category : Job Search

We always encourage kids to be creative when applying for summer jobs, find opportunities that will allow them to take advantage of their skills, and even possibly starting their own companies – but this article in the WSJ highlights 7 young people who took this to an entirely new level.

It just goes to show you that the possibilities for summer jobs are endless


From Intern to Employee

Category : Internships

One of the great things about our site is that we managed to keep it so flexible. So while, our name seems to imply that we only allow job postings, feel feel to post (and search) for internships and volunteer opportunities as well.

That being said, I wanted to pass on this article by Tara Weiss on Forbes.com with advice on how to take advantage of a summer internship and turn int into a job offer.

Basically, “Treat it as a 10-to-12-week job interview,” says Alex Taylor, a vice president of university relations at Bank of America.

And while this was written for internships, all of the advice is applicable to any entry level job. Especially this one, Don’t be shy about asking questions, especially if you need clarification on an assignment. No one wants to be a pest, but its best to get it right the first time.


5 Tips to Help Teens Find Summer Jobs

Category : Job Search

Teens often encounter challenges while searching for summer jobs due to their lack of experience in the job world. To help their peers, the teenage job experts at Myfirstpaycheck.com put together five tips to make the job search a little easier.

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But I’m Too Young! – Jobs for Younger Teens

Myfirstpaycheck.com was created to help young people get jobs. We have job advice for teens, interview tips, a resume builder, etc. But the one thing we cant help you with is changing an employers mind. What if he just wont hire someone younger than 16? He has that right, and most employers will not hire students that young. So what are the young and restless to do? Well, if nobody will hire you, hire yourselves!

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