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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


With seasonal hiring already underway, you have to wonder if minimum wage increases in some provinces will cost teens holiday jobs.

You could have the most industrious child in the world, but given the tight financial constraints of companies, it is easy to wonder if hiring is going to happen at the same level it has in the past. Youth employment numbers aren’t the greatest and this environment isn’t likely to help.

However, teens missing out on entry level positions is a bigger issue than simply not making a few extra dollars. For soon-to-be graduates, maybe more important than the money is the lost resume-building opportunity.

For teens, the goal is to build a resume in an effort to stand out from the crowd. Even if you can't find paid employment this holiday season, don't be idle and kick back – take control. Future employers are going to look at how industrious you really are and how you dealt with adversity.

Here are a few considerations:

  • Start you own business. Offer to provide services, such as grocery shopping, chauffeuring someone in need, or shoveling snow, for family and friends who may not be able. Not sure where to start? Consider exploring Youth Employment Services (YES), your local Chamber of Commerce, or community outreach programs.
  • Volunteer. Giving back can be a win-win. The connections you make could be invaluable.
  • Take additional courses. This can help you stand out in your field of interest.

Take on an internship. This can help you get your foot in the door and meet with people. Use this as an opportunity to learn and show potential employers what you can do.

Recognize jobs offered over the holiday season will likely be service-oriented do the upsurge in customers. Get creative and think outside of the box. This is where that industrious really pays off. Restaurants and catering companies always kick into high gear for the holidays. At the same time, there will many who travel and may need someone to watch their home or pets.

By the way, if you are competing against people with more experience, it's okay to address that and you can respond positively. You could say something like: “I may lack experience, but I'm a quick learner and no will work harder for you than me.”

ALWAYS end the conversation by stating how much you want the job.