Teen Employment Advice from a Local Franchise Owner

When we were tweens, our biggest dream was to someday work at Rita’s Water Ice! Times have changed, but local franchise jobs like these are still a great educational start for teens looking to get some work experience and make some money of their own.

Here are some tips from local Rita’s Water Ice franchise owner Ira Kauffman, who owns three Center City locations.

Who doesn’t want to wear the Rita’s cup!?

Across my company, I employ approximately 30 people and 80% of them are teens.  For most of those teens, this is their first “real job.”

The very best way to get your first job in the city is to “hit the streets.” Target local businesses that you can commute to easily and that you think would be a good fit for your personality.  I say that you should hit the streets because it is important that you show up in person. We live in a very digital age and it is easy to send an email or maybe even make a phone call asking if a company is hiring but showing up in person goes a long way.  

For one, it ensures me that you can physically get to work and shows your reliability. When I am approached by a teen at my store and they ask if I am hiring, I always give them an application to fill out. Showing up with a resume is a plus and always makes you stand out.  Click here for a great online resume builder!

During the interview, I care most about how well you speak and how well you answer the questions. Even if I do not need any employees at a given moment, if I come across a strong candidate that is truly impressive, I will often hire them.  

Once you do get hired, take your job seriously.  I have many employees who I remove from the team after just a week or two.  Just because you were hired doesn’t mean that you can stop performing. Often teens make that mistake.

Some of the issues I have with my teen employees is that they have a hard time differentiating working for me from a club activity in high school.  There is a huge difference. I am running a business and relying on you to operate and represent my company. If you don’t show up to work, you have let your boss and the team down and you will get fired.  

On the other hand, I also have many employees who come back year after year even through college.  When you graduate from college and present your resume to an employer showing continuous employment, it goes a long way.  Whatever you do, be the best version of yourself!

Note: Pennsylvania has specific employment laws for minors. Parents and teens alike should make sure they are familiar with these guidelines.