Friday, April 23, 2010
With summertime fast approaching, it’s common that jobs come across more applications from teenagers. But how easy is it to get these jobs? With lack of experience and the common assumption by employers that teenagers are lazy and irresponsible, it’s no wonder it is almost impossible for teenagers to get these jobs.
Though the legal age to work in California is 16, more and more jobs are making their hiring age 18. This might be due to legal reasons enforced by the company's’ headquarters or the individual store managers' requirements. For example, my friend and I went to the mall to go job hunting and I personally began paying attention to reactions from the employees already working there when she asked for an application. Younger employees merely grabbed an application and handed it to her without judgmental looks or comments. However, I noticed at other stores where there were older women working, we were looked up and down and immediately asked “How old are you?”.
Whose side is there to take on this debate though? Even I, an employed teenager, have to admit the irresponsibility and laziness found in teenagers is ridiculously common. But is the instant judgment on the employers part fair?
I asked Esha Mitra, a job-hunting teenager, for her opinion. She said, “Adults get annoyed at us for having attitudes, but they forget that they were teenagers at one point too. This entire world is based on hypocrisy.” She makes a valid argument, but adults object once again complaining about the flakiness of teenagers when it comes to jobs and, well, basically everything.
Teenagers and employers are constantly at a silent war when it comes to employment. When I started out at my job I was immediately shunned by my fellow employees because I am the youngest among them. It took months and months of personal hard work to prove myself worthy of respect from them, and once they realized I was not a typical teenager, they began regarding me as an adult, and not “just another teen”.
So this summer, teens, when you’re going to be turning in those applications, remember: first impressions are best, a mature attitude is expected and if you get the job, don’t give up just because you might be being treated disrespectfully by other employees. Use it as motivation, strive to do your best and generally kick butt at your first job.