by Sharon Lechter, founder of Pay Your Family First
A recent survey by Charles Schwab showed that the average teen still expects a starting salary of US$73,000 that will grow to US$150,000 in their chosen career. However when you match this expectation with the reality of the current very high unemployment rate for the same age group… it should alert all of us that trouble is brewing for the future.
The teen jobless rate is two to three times worse than the national average. Nearly 25% of our country’s teenagers are unemployed with that number being closer to 50% in our nation’s capital. (Employment Policies Institute EPI)
The problem of increased teenage unemployment extends well beyond that lost paycheck. Teenage years contain vital opportunities to harness skills through part-time employment that help shape the work ethic for their adult years. They learn about good use of their time, working with others, answering to a boss (other than mom and dad!). Instead these young people are finding themselves with tremendous idle time. What happens when a teenager is faced with a lot of idle time? …. Nothing good!
What can we do? The answer is quite simple… encourage our young people to develop entrepreneurial skills. Once they learn how to make money on their own… it provides self confidence that will last a lifetime.
From lemonade stands to mowing lawns of the past to internet marketing and social media services of today, encourage the young people in your life to find creative ways to start their own businesses.
Just this week, we just hired a new pool service where the father is training his college aged daughter to take over the family pool maintenance service. I applaud him for taking action to make sure his daughter receives the education she needs to succeed while also teaching her the essential skills of entrepreneurship along the way.
Do you have a business you can train your child in? If not, encourage them to develop their passion into a business opportunity of their own. There are materials available to assist you if you want help in mentoring a young person along this path. Our YOUTHPreneur BIZ Kit helps walk your young person through all the elements, from finding their passion to starting and managing their new business…while also reminding the young business owner about the importance of giving back!
It really is YOUR choice. Will you do nothing… and allow them to have high expectations but meet a much more sobering reality? Or will you make sure they have the skills to become a master of money… instead of a slave to money? The gift of entrepreneurial education… is a gift of a lifetime.
A life-long education advocate, Sharon Lechter is the founder of Pay Your Family First, a company dedicated to empowering children and families to build prosperous futures through financial literacy education, and Pay Your Family First, an innovative new way to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in our children. She is also is the annotator of “Outwitting the Devil“, the co-author of “Three Feet From Gold” and “Rich Dad Poor Dad“.