Summer jobs: What parents need to know

When your child gets his or her first job, experts say parents need to stay involved.

With school letting out, many students are on the look-out for summer jobs.

For many, this is their first experience in the workplace. But parents need to take an active role in this formative time. When your child gets his or her first job, experts say parents need to stay involved.

It's important to allow your child to pick the jobs he or she applies for, but stay knowledgeable about what he or she is doing and keep communication open.

Erica Anders is the manager of Manpower in Quincy. She says parents need to help teenagers realize the they commitment make when they get a job ... and help children fulfill that obligation.

"In associates these days, soft skills are sort of a lost art. Where it was instilled in a lot of people at a young age, it's really not anymore. If you see your child going in a direction they really shouldn't be anymore, reminding them that its important to be to work on time," Anders said. "Also making sure if they can't go to work that they call ahead and have a good reason to."

No matter the age or the job - remind kids that professionalism is important.

"Being organized, being punctual, being on time is really important and being excited about your job," Jessica Marie Cate with the Quincy Park District said.

Work ethic is key -- so teach kids to stay busy and on task. And if a job isn't working or they don't like it, encourage teenagers to stick it out ... or put in their two weeks notice.

"A lot of times we're seeing people quit on the job or just not showing up anymore. We can't help them if they do that and it's a disservice to them for your allow them to do that. They have to learn from a early age that discipline to finish the job out," Anders said.

Here's why a two weeks notice is so important. When companies call previous employers, it's something they ask about. As opposed to other details that are private matters of personnel, how you quit your job can be passed on and follows you throughout your life.

Why are these first jobs so important for a child??

"It molds really what their career is going to be and how they are going to view employers and what they can and cannot do," Anders said.

Know federal and state child and labor laws for the area where they live. Federal laws limit the number of hours that 14- and 15-year-olds can work in non-agricultural worksites.

During the summer, federal law allows 14- and 15-year-olds to work only between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. They are banned from such jobs as baking or cooking, operating power-driven machinery including lawn mowers, climbing ladders, working in warehouses or in construction, unloading trucks or conveyors or jobs that require climbing ladders.

By contrast, youth at any time can be employed in any occupation in agriculture on a farm owned or operated by their parent or guardian.