Glad I’m not 16 and looking for my first job

Now that Markus has turned 16, he’s wanting to find a job, after all, what 16-year-old can’t use some extra money? :). Back in my day, this was an exciting time and there was never a shortage of things a 16-year-old could do: papers needed delivering, restaurants needed servers, stores needed folks to stock shelves, and fast food places needed people for just about everything. While many of these jobs still exist, actually applying for them is nowhere near as easy as it used to be. “Go online” they say, “fill out our online application.” While the going online part is easy for kids of just about any age, figuring out how to complete the forms just so they’ll be excepted by the online job systems can be a real challenge. For example, the applications are designed to capture education/experience/previous jobs and so forth, but if you’re just starting out, what to actually fill in? Unfortunately, leaving many of these fields blank is not always an option meaning that without filling something in, the form can’t actually be submitted.

I certainly don’t envy today’s kids just trying to get a start. While the challenge used to be getting up the nerve to approach a potential employer and asking for a job, the challenge today’s kids have is figuring out how to successfully navigate the complex and impersonal online job applications, which are not at all geared toward helping someone get a Fresh start, in the hopes that their information will be routed to a human somehow somewhere. I definitely wish Markus and all of today’s kids the best of luck.

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