Student receives training at his summer job on a military installation

Preparing Young Adults for Their First Job

So, your young adult is getting ready to look for work. Whether he or she is still in school or just starting the search, there are plenty of resources to help military families get a leg up in the job hunt — such as mentors and internships. Check out these steps to set your son or daughter up for success.

Connect with a mentor

The military community is full of role models who young people can connect with about their job experience. A strong network is key, and a mentor can unlock professional connections. Better yet, they can provide support, guidance and coaching that’ll help your son or daughter figure out the right path.

Here are some places to start:

  • Teacher or school administrator: A natural fit is an adult your son or daughter has worked with through school and is already comfortable with. They can connect to find out what young people are looking for and how best to pursue it.
  • Faith community: Your place of worship may offer youth programs, or a member of the clergy can likely connect you to some or recommend members of the community who could be a good match, based on their career.
  • Foster grandparents: This government program connects young people to seniors over 55 who serve as role models and mentors through tutoring and guidance.
  • Coaches, local college students, older relatives and family friends are also great options for mentors.

Internships can lead to jobs

Interning is a great way to get a young person's foot in the door. He or she can learn a lot about the company, while making valuable connections. Ask around your installation, community centers and local businesses about internship opportunities.

Other options include checking in with local colleges and universities to see if your high school student can line up an internship. Local United States Department of Agriculture extension services may provide opportunities.

Build skills through volunteering

For a community committed to serving, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities in and around your installation. It’s a great way for your son or daughter to build skills to add to a resume, make connections and stay busy during their search.

  • Your installation Military and Family Support Center can connect you to a volunteer coordinator who can provide a list of volunteer openings.
  • Find an organization or cause your young adult really connects to. People who are passionate and excited about the work perform better.
  • Try something new. A volunteer role is the perfect way to explore new potential career paths and create new goals.

Get the resume ready

Lastly, make sure your son or daughter has a good resume ready to go. You never know when an opportunity will arise through one of these activities and a solid resume can make all the difference when the time comes.

  • The Department of Labor’s Career OneStop offers resume guidance, tips, samples and FAQ’s about writing and formatting.

Your military community makes it easier for you to help your young adult prepare for a new job. There are so many opportunities, from mentors to resume assistance, to get your son or daughter into a great job.