Job Coaching At-Risk Teens

positive-youth-development_teen-job-fair-sign As a follow-up to yesterday's guest post, "The Power of Second Chances: Employment After Treatment," I thought it would be great to share with you a fantastic post from 2007 by Barbara Dwyer called "Job Coaching," for mentors, professionals, and caregivers working with at-risk youth to prepare them for getting a job. (Hat tip to Paul Savery for calling it to my attention.) 
The article appeared in Children's Voice, a publication of the Child Welfare League of America's (CWLA). Here's some of the highlights: 

  • Sharing your core work values -- in particular why you enjoy your work
  • Getting teens to be self-reflective when they don't want to be
  • Helping youth identify their positive traits
  • Developing specific examples to demonstrate they have those traits that would convince a potential employer (e.g., "I'm a hard worker," vs. "I worked with my neighbors every day after school for a month to clean up our local park.") 
  • Specific questions to elicit what your youth wants to do -- and no matter how improbable it is, following up his or her answers with key questions such as, "What would you like about doing that?" "Why would it be important to you?" "Would you feel differently about yourself?"
  • How to prepare for the actual job interview, including common interview questions such as, "List your strength and weaknesses," or, "Do you have questions for me?"

If you're looking for inspiration in how to help youth look for and land a job -- or if you just want a new way to look at it -- I urge you to check out the link and read the whole article. The youth you work with will thank you.

Check out this post for proven strategies for getting young men jobs and education.
Photo: Skokie Public Library.

Updated: November 23 2010