29: How to Cultivate a Strong Work Ethic in Your Teen


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By Ed Gerety. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.


Eric Chester is America’s most celebrated ‘teen work ethic guru’, an acclaimed in-the-trenches workforce researcher and thought leader. As a former high school teacher and coach-turned motivational speaker for youth, Eric has visited thousands of high schools and colleges to help prepare students for success in part-time jobs all the way through to full-time careers. Eric discusses how you can help your teen lead a fulfilling work life and how to navigate the challenges they might face when they take on their very first job.

Key Takeaways

  • Teenagers struggle to find success in their first jobs.
  • Companies are frustrated by the lack of work ethic in their young hires.
  • Our culture and lifestyles have changed which makes it difficult for our youth to keep up with a regular 9-5 schedule.
  • How parents talk about work can make teens see it as the enemy.
  • At the same time, teens are hearing mixed messages. ‘Find a job you love so much that you’d do it for free.’
  • Parents often don’t want their teen to get stuck in a low-entry kind of job, which means they discourage their teen from even applying in the first place. However, there are a lot of great lessons to be learned from entry-level jobs!
  • In this economy, your teen can find work!
  • How does a parent instill values in their teens?
  • How do you teach your teen how to be reliable at work?
  • You don’t want to get a job just to ‘pay the bills’. A job, the work you do, can be so much more fulfilling than that.

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“If you try to protect your teen from the world of work, you’re going to delay their ability to be successful in the workplace.”

“A parent can’t force a teen to work, but they can create the conditions where the teen says, ‘I need to earn some scratch.’”

“Reliability is not something that you do, it’s something that you are.”

47 episodes