Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hiring youngsters

     Free daily tips, information and advice for people in small business
     from personal experience founding and growing small businesses--been there, done that.

     Apprenticeships were once a path to a career. Young people in their early teens signed up with experienced tradespeople and learned a craft--from the bottom up.

     Today, we take a much more enlightened view. We've largely outlawed youngsters going to work. We might feel good about this, but it's the youngster who suffers the consequences. Our child labor laws have put years of leisure time in the hands of immature kids.

     Some teenagers are lucky enough to be guided through their difficult years by an adult. Teens can seek out internships or part time work where they learn the interactive skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. Interns and part timers learn how the world really works. 

     Example: As he was growing up, Billy worked part time helping a neighbor who ran a landscaping business. Billy learned a lot about maintaining lawns, pruning shrubbery, mulching flower beds, keeping equipment in good repair--and handling customers. His young mind was particularly impressed with the interactions his neighbor had with homeowners. When he graduated high school, Billy went on to college. Today, he runs a marketing consulting firm, and talks about the valuable experiences of his early years handling all kinds of customers. 

     Small businesses can benefit from hiring young people. It's part of passing the culture on to the next generation. A youngster has energy, enthusiasm, and wants to learn. Hiring a part timer helps the youngster and helps the small business. 

     Example: When she turned 16, Susan went to work part time at a local hair salon. She handled the receptionist desk, scheduled appointments, sold products over the counter, and assisted the stylists. She went on to attend a professional school, and today she owns a salon of her own. Without that early start, she might have spent years "finding herself" and putting in place a rewarding career.

     Starting early in life to learn how life works is valuable. Part time work by teenagers introduces young people to possibilities they will not learn elsewhere. Not in school. Not in university. Not in playing around and not in hanging out.

     My lifetime in founding and running businesses is at your disposal. These days I'm retired. I spend my time writing about small business and helping others with their problems. Email me your questions for quick--and free--answers. Send to and put BLOG in the subject line so I don't delete. Your privacy is always respected, and I'm not selling anything.    

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