With one of my children, anxiety was more of a factor than anything else in terms of putting herself out there to get a job. I took her to get an application from a few places near our home, answered any questions she had in filling them out, and then drove her back to turn them in. She worked at Little Caesar’s one summer and at a local burger joint the next. After her freshman year at college, she was overwhelmed and reluctant to put herself out there, so her dad helped her put together a resume, we talked about a few potential places she could apply (with her in the driver’s seat in terms of input, but giving suggestions if needed), and he actually took her downtown where he works and walked with her to the HR office of one place where she was hoping to work and then she did the rest. Getting past the initial unknown and the overwhelm of not knowing where to start helped her immensely. She ended up with a job as a hostess at a busy restaurant that serves people from all over the world and some VIPs. Talk about a great way to help her to overcome some of her anxieties and learn key skills! We have also reminded our children that if they don’t get a job that sounds interesting to them, that it is better to have a job, period—after all, tuition, housing, and other things cannot be paid with whims. 🙂 High school and college jobs don’t—and don’t have to—last forever. 🙂 My son has no problem applying for jobs. His main motivation is money. 🙂 However, he is somewhat quirky and lacking a bit in social skills, but we have been working on that. He got a job at a local farm at 15 and they pay according to how much is picked, so it was a big motivation to work hard and well. He liked the feeling of earning money and being able to put away money for college and for other important things, as well as being able to purchase a few things he wanted. During the school year, after he turned 16, he got a job at a local Italian restaurant where he has base pay, but he also has to earn tips, so not only does he have to work hard, but it’s been really, really good at helping him learn to interact with people in a positive way and reign in his impulses.
Have your son write down everything he is good at/enjoys/past experience/etc., and then help him craft a simple resume (I found some great templates online) that will showcase his strengths, experience, education, and interests. Experiences will be key for him. Help him to identify a few places to apply, and then take him there if necessary. He can do the rest, but helping him get past initial fear or overwhelm will help him to gain confidence and skill so he can move forward on his own in the future. And do it soon—kids come home from college and start graduating from high school and then the jobs get snatched up. At least around here they do. 🙂 Good job, Mom, in helping your son to succeed!