The Center for Financial Empowerment, the nonprofit organization founded by SCE Credit Union, has a mission to educate high school youth with personal finance concepts, preparing them to make smart financial decisions as they move into adulthood. As part of that mission, we encourage parents to take an active role in helping their teens establish strong financial habits for managing money.
In this post of our Teach Your Teen series, we discuss how teens can begin to build skills and experience for the workforce.
Teens often assume they can’t build working skills until they’re able to begin working a paid job. Nothing could be further from the truth! Many skills needed in the workplace can be learned and practiced at a young age in non-work settings.
Human capital refers to the skills, knowledge and experiences possessed by an individual. It’s the result of investing in oneself. When gaining experience at different jobs, going to school, volunteering, attending workshops, participating in activities, reading, etc. you’re investing in your human capital.
Transferable skills are versatile skills applied to personal and professional roles. A person’s ability to organize, clearly communicate, problem solve, and be creative are examples of valuable skills that can be used on the job or transferred to a variety of other jobs they may wish to pursue.
Marketable skills can be organized into four categories:
Interpersonal skills, also known as people skills or soft skills, allow them to positively relate to, communicate with, influence and inspire others. Some examples of interpersonal skills are delegating, coaching, listening, presenting and demonstrating cooperation between themselves and others.
Analytical skills are the intellectual skills that enable them to identify and analyze problems and find solutions. If they develop their analytical skills, they’ll be able to research topics, gather and analyze data, be creative and identify risks.
Technical skills are specific skills such as computer proficiency and the ability to work with and/or repair specific equipment, instruments or software.
Organizational skills provide them with an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to sort data, plan, arrange projects, maintain accurate records and coordinate multiple resources/tasks. Solid organizational skills make it possible for them to prioritize and manage time, tasks and resources.
A teen can begin to develop and refine these important skills in a variety of ways including – but not limited to – working a part-time job.
- Hone their interpersonal skills at school by encouraging them to participate in student government or joining a club, or in the community by volunteering at a senior citizen center, reading to kids or serving in the church.
- Develop analytical and technical skills in specialized courses available through their school or local community college, at internships or in apprentice programs.
- Gain organizational skills by volunteering to help with clerical duties in the school office, at a library or in other nonprofit organizations.
These marketable skills are what employers are looking for. Developing them early will give your child an edge and help them stand out from the crowd when they want to get hired for a future job.
The Center for Financial Empowerment is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower disadvantaged youth through financial literacy education. Find out more about our work at Center4FE.org.
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Invest In Yourself, Take Charge Today, November 2019