Adults know that networking is key in life. It opens doors, builds self-confidence, and creates long-term relationships. For teens, networking allows them to meet people in their field of choice, learn more about careers and get a chance to job shadow and intern. However, networking is a foreign concept to most teens and is not taught in school. It’s up to parents to teach their teens how to network effectively.
The first step is to figure out who you know. Brainstorm a list with your teen of individuals you know in those careers or might know of someone who is. When brainstorming, consider:
- Family members
- Friend’s parents
- Your Linkedin connections
- Your work colleagues
Next, encourage your teen to contact people on your list and ask for a conversation. Most teens I work with are more comfortable if I introduce them via email. For example, I helped a teen connect with an interior designer. I reached out to both the teen and the interior designer via email, explaining why I was reaching out and letting the teen follow up to schedule a time to talk. NOTE: I asked the designer beforehand if they would be interested in talking to the teen.
You can assist your teen by role-playing the conversation. It will help them figure out what questions they wish to ask and how to handle any follow-up questions. Be cautious with your feedback to your teen. Focus on what they did well and ask them how they would improve.
Sometimes teens will listen to a neutral party more than their parents. As part of our services, we connect teens with people in their career fields of interest and fully prepare them for the conversation. We’re more than happy to be that neutral party for your teen. Click here to get started.