Should You Hire Your Own Teenager?

Take Charge on 08.01.12
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Photo: CollegeDegrees360/Creative Commons

When I left my big TV gig all those years ago (or more appropriately, was kicked out), I never dreamed I'd be working for myself. More than that, I never dreamed I'd be managing people; that's what my husband the salesman does and he's darn good at it too. As for me, that's never been my interest or strong suit.

Alas, sometimes we are thrust into situations where we have to take on that which is unfamiliar and a tad bit uncomfortable and that's what happened to me. See, this was the year that my blog transitioned to a business and I had to hire some people to help as I continued to grow. One of those was my teenage daughter and so far, we've been making it work. Should you hire your teen to work for you? I would say weigh the following, then decide:

How responsible is she? My daughter was one of those kids who was born responsible. When I ask her to do something (other than clean her room) I generally only have to ask it once. If your teen needs constant reminders or requests, this might not be an ideal situation. The goal is to have them help you, not add more to your plate.

Will it distract from schoolwork? Right now this is not an issue as we're in the dog days of summer. But when Casey goes back to school, we might have to make a few adjustments in her schedule. I like having her help out and she likes the money (which is no small amount for a teen), but schoolwork comes first. Can your teen manage the job and schoolwork?

Is he knowledgeable? This, I would say was one of the more pleasant surprises. I spent about 45 minutes teaching Casey how to upload content to my website. That's it. 45 minutes and she took to it like a fish to water. Technology is almost innate with this generation. Is the job you're proposing they do something they are interested in and have an aptitude for? If not, are they willing to learn?

How will you reprimand? I love having my daughter work for me, but she is still a teenager -- which means sometimes she does things that are not conducive to building a business. So while it has only happened a couple of times, I have had to come up with a way to reprimand my "employee". I give verbal warnings for the first infraction and let her know that tasks she does not complete, she does not get paid for. That's all it takes because she understands the link between work and pay. How will you handle work discrepancy with your teen?

All in all I think it's bee a great experience for Casey and me and I think it's helped lay the groundwork for her and future jobs.

Have you put your teen to work for you? 

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