To be pissed off with DS1 for not getting a job? And how can I help him?

(46 Posts)
LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 28-Jul-13 14:06:48

Genuine AIBU - I told DS1 after Christmas to start trying to get a summer job lined up for between A levels and (fingers crossed) start of uni. End of A levels arrived and then he starts looking. Predictably, he can't get a job. We get on well so I'm surprised how pissed off with him I am. I don't want to let it affect our relationship but I'm finding it very hard to be calm and sensible about this. In the current climate, are summer jobs really so difficult to find? Am I BU?

On the flipside, he has been to every shop within walking/cycling distance to ask if they are hiring. He's made countlesss online applications and asked everyone he knows if they know of available work.

Only 2 of his friends have jobs.

So AIBU to be pissed off with him and is there anything more he can to do get work?

JaneFonda Sun 28-Jul-13 14:10:43


Summer jobs now are pretty much impossible to find, and looking at Christmas wouldn't have made a difference anyway.

There will, presumably, be an influx of students returning from university, who will already have had a job and will go back to it in the summer, as well as all the other students who have finished GCSEs and A Levels.

It is not easy, for anyone!

It sounds like he's been doing a fantastic job of looking for work - I could understand you being annoyed if he wasn't doing anything, but it seems like he's doing everything he can to get a job.

Try and be a bit more supportive, instead of making him feel worse for being unemployed.

He hasn't helped himself by leaving it until the last minute, certainly. Given that only 2 of his friends have jobs, this suggests there may not be many to come by. Perhaps this year's experience will teach him a valuable lesson about the benefits of forward planning?

Can he sign or? Or, failing that, at least do some volunteering to put on his CV to make him more attractive to prospective employers?

chickensaladagain Sun 28-Jul-13 14:11:13


If we are recruiting we want people to start now! Maximum we do is recruit 4 weeks in advance to allow for notice periods so if he asked before his a levels he would have been told no

You can't really help him, he is doing all the right things but its so expensive to recruit that most firms don't want summer casuals anymore

LineRunner Sun 28-Jul-13 14:11:40

My DD (17) and her friends are also looking. Nada.

bigfuckoffpie Sun 28-Jul-13 14:11:46

YAB a bit U. He could have tried harder before, but some places only hire seasonal staff closer to the time, not around Christmas. And he is trying, and jobs are in short supply. It'll be a lesson for next year.

Could he find voluntary work to do so at least that's something on his CV?

Sign on

louloutheshamed Sun 28-Jul-13 14:14:50

When I finished my a levels 10 years ago I got a summer job straight away, and then every summer after than through uni.

I am now a teacher and when I was telling my a level students about this they were mainly gobsmacked at how easy it had been for me. I just don't think the same jobs are around now. Having said that some of them have got jobs in eg, fruit packing factories, nightclubs, etc. a world away from my cushy office number.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 28-Jul-13 14:20:08

Thanks for all your replies. Thankfully I have been supporting DS and keeping my feelings on the matter to myself. It's actually a great relief to hear that I am BU. smile

I don't think they are alowed to sign on between school and uni Pumpkin

Eyesunderarock Sun 28-Jul-13 14:21:50

They often have temporary jobs here, but you need to grab whilst they are going.
Supermarket temp jobs are all online now, e.g.

It's a tough climate out there at the moment, as you said, only 2 of his friends have jobs.
He could volunteer to get him out the house and acquiring some skills if the money isn't your prime focus.

WinnieFosterTether Sun 28-Jul-13 14:24:36

I don't think YWBU to ask him to think about it at Christmas. I used to be involved with a number of charities who had opportunities working overseas during the summer (and the places were funded!) and he might have been able to find something like that if he had forward planned.
Now that he is looking, I think YABU to still be annoyed (unless he's like my dnephews who won't even consider call centres or shops or any of the other jobs myself and my friends did as students!).

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 28-Jul-13 14:26:16

Can he not get a job in a pub? Ds1 struggled to find pt work until he turned 18 and was able to do bar work.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 28-Jul-13 14:30:15

Thanks for the links Eyes

He's worth his weight in gold at home at the mo doing ironing, clearning, cooking etc etc under the guise of perfecting those 'life skills' for when he leaves. smile

He's planning to scoot off to his uni town as soon as he knows whether he has the grades, so he can get a term time job there.

Rummikub Sun 28-Jul-13 14:31:12

I would encourage him to gain some voluntary work, then to look for work experience opportunities in advance for while he is at university.

Both are invaluable for his cv. Work experience does need to be planned for in advance.

Eyesunderarock Sun 28-Jul-13 14:32:30

For me, the fact he's useful around the home would be a huge plus. Mine both are, and when DD returned from Uni for three months, she stepped right in and resumed a useful role.
There are very few studenty-type jobs going, unlike when I was a student.

DrCoconut Sun 28-Jul-13 14:35:04

Unless money is a real problem possibly he'd be better off doing a bit of voluntary work and relaxing so he is not burnt out at the start with uni.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 28-Jul-13 14:36:12

He's even thought of taking in ironing as he's very good - and quick - at it but we wouldn't have the first idea how to start that up re insurance etc. I suppose he can look into it more as, going by what's been said here, the chances of a summer job are quite slim.

Beastofburden Sun 28-Jul-13 14:39:04

Meh, I think he has shown good effort on going around. At Xmas he had more important things to do, like A2 modules and sorting out his u choice. The country is full of graduates with no job, never mind school leavers, so don't expect miracles. He prob wont get a job at his Uni town either- not sure what the point of paying rent earlier than you have to would be ??

Why don't you ask him to do some hideous job you have been putting off (decluttering, redecorating, gardening) and pay him £10 an hour for it? Maybe your friends would do the same?

ChipsNKetchup Sun 28-Jul-13 14:39:05

It is so hard finding work at the moment. The situation is soul destroying.

When I left school my town had negative unemployment and we all walked straight into work. Now unemployment is massive. Would agree that any voluntary work he can do would be a CV boost.

ihavenonameonhere Sun 28-Jul-13 14:39:54

Could he do some volunteering?

Beastofburden Sun 28-Jul-13 14:41:15

If he's good at ironing, ring a company that offers ironing and say he would work for them, a lot of their regulars will be busy looking after the kids over the summer holidays.

TheAwfulDaughter Sun 28-Jul-13 14:43:21

You need to stop looking for 'summer jobs' and instead look for any job.

Businesses don't want people for the summer. They want them permanantly. Cast the net for 12-38 hour waiter, retail, bar jobs and just keep hush that he's going to uni. He can hand in his notice 2 weeks before freshers.

But tbh, it's too late now anyway. It's fine to be a bit cheeky and leave after 4 months- but won't he be off to uni in like 6 weeks?

If you want to help him, send an email pretending to be him to a charity shop asking to volunteer. If he does that twice a week until he does to uni he should have enough till experience to apply to any retail job and get it as long as he's good in the interview.

I'm 20, a student and have had a paid job since I was 13 and never been out of work when I wanted to move around for better pay or benefits. I'm at home in the holidays now working the same hour week as mum and dad. Relying on mummy and daddy's allowance for your meals out with mates and clubbing past the age of 16 is pure laziness if you live in a town with lots of opportunities. Different case for rural kids. So many volunteer opportunities to get that experience too if it's a case of 'can't get a job with no experience but can't get experience without a job'

morethanpotatoprints Sun 28-Jul-13 14:45:14


My ds1 almost 22 has been working since he was 16 and supporting himself through A levels and Uni, jobs were hard to find then as well. My ds2 walked straight into a job after I had spent 2 hours telling him how he had wasted his chances after leaving before the end of his A levels. He found a job within an hour.
If you tell employers you only want temporary work, you won't get a job. It may not be exactly what they want but there are jobs.
My DS1 has about 4 jobs, one is a zero contract with a Pizza delivery company, but he earns a lot at weekend.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 28-Jul-13 14:48:04

I wouldn't need to pretend to be him TAD - he can do his own smile
Here, it's a case of no one's hiring rather than his lack of experience. I can see how volunteering in a charity shop would help for retail experience, though.

TheAwfulDaughter Sun 28-Jul-13 14:48:23

Sorry that post sounded a bit 'look how amazing and hardworking I am' blush

I didn't mean to sound like that, I wish your son the best of luck, it's just a bit late in the day. Hopefully if he can do some work experience unpaid this summer (maybe he could work for his allowance this way?) he'll have a better chance finding a part time job at university and next summer smile

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 28-Jul-13 14:51:02

Hadn't even occurred to either of us to omit to tell a prospective employer about uni plans. Wouldn't that scupper his chances of getting a decent reference from that employer if he needed one?

Eyesunderarock Sun 28-Jul-13 14:51:49

DS worked in a charity shop, he got experience on the till, with customer service (you get some very odd customers in charity shops sometimes), evaluating, grading and sorting contributions and window-dressing.

TheAwfulDaughter Sun 28-Jul-13 14:52:38

What experience does he have LFTM?

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 28-Jul-13 14:53:59

TAD - your post was nothing but helpful smile
FWIW I worked from 16 in a Saturday job and in holidays too. I think it's good to do.

TheAwfulDaughter Sun 28-Jul-13 14:55:42

No wonder no one wants to hire him if you haven't been omitting it?!

Why would they want to hire someone for 4 months when they could give a job to someone who isn't going to leave?grin

Nah, you just put on your notice that you've got a new job with more scope for advancement, whatever, lie. As long as he's worked hard they won't give him a bad reference.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 28-Jul-13 14:58:14

He has a qualification to be a workplace first aider, an enhanced CRB as he helped with his old scout pack while doing his D of E awards (has applied to playschemes etc - no luck). No work experience though.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 28-Jul-13 15:00:07

TAD you hve a point. He had one interview where he'd be perfect but they said they wanted someone more permanent. sad

TheAwfulDaughter Sun 28-Jul-13 15:03:52

He sounds like a great chap, lots of good outdoorsy experience. Depending where he's going to uni, he may be able to find something at an adventure park or after school club- or something like indoor crazy golf or pubs with soft play.

But ultimately you need that till experience. In bar work or waitressing or retail, they don't want to know if there's no till experience.

Omit he's a student, get some till experience- and I can assure you, he'll get a job.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 28-Jul-13 15:10:04

Fab thanks.
He's off round the charity shops tomorrow and also likes the idea of ringing companies who do ironing.
Fingers crossed.

Have you tried getting him to make up some cards offering fence painting and delivering them locally. I would have paid someone a bloody fortune to do ours.

tiggytape Sun 28-Jul-13 17:56:28

I agree about cutting him a bit of slack in finding paid employment.

It isn't like it was for us 10 20+ years ago when students could get a job in a shop or restaurant pretty much just by turning up and applying.
The same jobs now are harder to come by and attract 'proper' applicants - people with some experience who are still cheap but don't need any training. There just isn't much scope for 16 and 18 year olds to get anything causal and paid unless they can get some experience first.

Which is a shame, because as well as the money, being able to try out a range of different holiday jobs (and have a few regular ones as well) was definitely a big part of the learning and life experience at that age.

Crinkle77 Mon 29-Jul-13 16:04:46

Give him a break. What is the big deal about him having a summer job? A-levels are a stressful time so let him have his holiday fun. What might be worth suggesting is getting a little job when he is at uni doing bar/restaurant work or something. If he is going to a uni town surely there will be loads of student jobs about.

gardening / odd job man / babysitting??

my regular "young" person who babysits (while i am in the house) has let me down twice in the space of a week - i pay £5 an hour (and i feed them smile )

so if you are in me lol

I was in the same boat as you OP, DS1 did nothing about finding work and I was crawling the walls for ages telling him to go to the pubs and ask if there was anything going. What does he want to study at uni? Is there anything he could volunteer at that would support that? Helping in a charity shop is always appreciated, also lots of charities will have a lot of fundraising events through the summer and would appreciate a hand with a whole range of things from cooking bbqs to running tombola stalls. Get him to look in the local paper and see what events are coming up in your local area. If he likes elderly people there are often chances for visiting/ doing some shopping etc for them.

thebody Mon 29-Jul-13 16:20:56

ds 1 advertised as a Gardner/ babysitter. he is CRB checked and obviously all the families are local and know us. his main advantage is he can drive/ walk home after and he's not a 14 year old girl liable to be in the phone and smuggling bit friends in( was that just me)

ds2 pot washes in pub and now graduated to puddings and prep. he is absolutely loaded as working all day every day.

can your ds not do the above or offer garden services??

You do not necessarily need to have till experience to work the floor or in the kitchen of a pub.
I work in a pub and I do all the bills for the tables, the waitresses just waitress - if that makes sense.
I was lucky with my DD as I already work there, they gave her a trial and hey presto she has a couple of shifts now a week which will help her in the future.
I'd ask at all the local pubs. The reason my DD got a shot is because of the holidays - so many of the youngsters going off on holidays they needed someone to cover when people are off.
It's worth a go?
Unfortunately, often with this kind of work, it's not what you know, it's who you know.
Think about some of your contacts or places you go to regularly that know you - they may be worth a go as well.
Good luck to him - he sounds like a great lad.

DontmindifIdo Mon 29-Jul-13 16:43:46

Agree tell him to apply for perm roles, he can always closer to the time say that he had thought he hadn't got the grades for uni and so would be staying local to resit next year, but was surprised to have done well (brief him before results to tell colleagues/boss that he's expecting to fail/get low grades, then arrive into work being happy shocked about it next shift wink )

Also any local temp admin agencies he could sign on with? Again, suggesting he might be around come sept onwards resitting....

StuntGirl Mon 29-Jul-13 17:53:32

Of course YABU, jobs are like gold dust for teenagers and young people.

I think older people have no clue how hard it is to get jobs like that these days. All this "Oh, can't you just get a job in a pub?" Well, with pubs closing at a rate of 18 a week, the people who do go in the ones that are left spending less and the companies trying everything to save money (i.e. shedding staff) then no, he can't 'just' get a job at a pub.

My place of work has lost two members of staff since Christmas. Instead of hiring new people their workload has simply been shared amongst those who are still there. No new jobs going here, and I suspect a lot of places are similar.

raisah Mon 29-Jul-13 19:08:57

Try the temping agencies such Brook Street, Office Angels for short temp contracts. It's also important how he words his request as asking for a 'summer job' can be limiting. Better to ask for short term contracts & tidy up his c.v. & to present himself smartly.

Also look at your local university/FE college recruitment pages as they often hire in temp staff for data entry etc during the clearing process. Brook street temping agency supplies temps to universities for this purpose.

Good luck.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 29-Jul-13 22:29:56

Thanks so much for all your replies and ideas. They'll help give him a 'second wind'. I also forgot to say that he makes absolutely amazing cake.Same equipment and ingredients as mine but his taste loads better. envy

cq Mon 29-Jul-13 22:40:20

My god he sounds great, OP. Can I book him just to come and live in my house for a month and do all my ironing/cooking/play with my kids/walk my dogs grin

Seriously though, the charity shops struggle over the summer when all their volunteers naff off on holiday or shorten their hours because they have kids at home. If he can get in with one of those they will love him. We have a new 'boy' at our local Oxfam where I volunteer, who's been away on an extended gap year or three - it was hilarious to see all the old ducks clucking away excitedly over him!

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