How to get my son a job

(11 Posts)
MrsMuddlePluck Wed 20-Jul-16 20:15:41

He's just finished college and seems unable to motivate himself to find a job. I try to point him towards opportunities but he is unable / unwilling to try unless it's a job he wants. He owes me money [another story] and has obviously promised to pay me back.


- he applied to be an apprentice at the local council, but forgot to tell them he would be on holiday on the day they offered him ( offered him! ) so could they fit him in on the other day when he wouldn't be on holiday. They said 'no'.

- he applied for a job in a comic book store opening soon but they said they'd get back to him within a couple of days. A week and a half later - nothing.

- he went for a job in the post room of a local firm and they said 'no'

He is very isolated and is in his room for 90% of the day, online. He's also very shy and seems confused by the big world out there and I feel, quite scared. He refuses to go for something he isn't interested in and I had to force him to apply to the council. We live right next to a huge retail centre, where there ought to be loads of jobs, but nothing he [nor I as it happens] might suit.

How do I encourage him to try?

OP’s posts: |
Sparklingbrook Wed 20-Jul-16 20:26:28

My DS (17) got his P/T job by emailing lots of local companies asking if they were looking for staff. One just happened to be. So maybe get him to not just apply to advertised jobs.

When you say about the jobs not suiting what does he ideally want? Is this a career or just a job while he looks for something more suitable?

toadgirl Wed 20-Jul-16 20:28:47

Tell him it's easier to get a job he wants while he's in a job (any job) already. That's the way the world works, unfortunately. The longer he goes unemployed, the harder it will be for him.

FiveFullFathoms Wed 20-Jul-16 20:40:37

His confidence is most likely to be bolstered by having a job, taking pride in it and getting paid. As PP says, it's easier to get a job when you have a job. Periods of unemployment unfortunately don't look great on a CV and the longer he's out of work, the more difficult and daunting it will seem.

Can he make a list of jobs he really wants to do and a list of jobs he wouldn't mind doing? And then aim to apply for, say, 5 jobs a week? I was searching for work recently and you really do have to spread your net wide and apply for things that aren't your ideal.

cressetmama Mon 25-Jul-16 21:49:38

DS is only on holiday but wanted money, so we suggested freelance garden contracting. He mows lawns and fields, strims, does pressure washing etc. for older (less well) people for £6 ph, using their equipment, and still has time for driving lessons, maths tuition and his social life. It's better than £4.50 minimum wage, and it isn't retail or catering (his pet hates).

annandale Mon 25-Jul-16 21:51:52

I have to be honest, my mum got me a job where she worked, for my first Monday to Friday job (I'd managed to get saturday jobs myself). It lasted five months which was enough to get me going and give me some regular work experience. Do you work - maybe have a chat with your boss and see if there are any bits of fixed-term work that might be on offer?

Scarydinosaurs Mon 25-Jul-16 21:55:26

Work on his self esteem and resilience first- probably would have been better to do this last year, but better late than never.

Increase his independence, what does he do on his own? Is he competent at looking after himself? Make sure he can do all basic things one needs to do to keep body and soul together.

Give him motivation to work- stop paying for everything he wants. If he wants it, he can get a job to pay for it.

Discuss with him what he wants to do in the future, and the best path to get there (working to gain work experience in his field/earning money to pay for courses to qualify).

Make him interested in the world around him. Some of my happiest times were when I was a student working part time in retail: these funny stories have given me conversation fodder to get me through many a quiet lull in conversations. Tell him your funny stories, let him see getting a job as more than just earning money- he will meet interesting people and do shitty things are sometimes character building and make good drinking stories.


heavenlypink Mon 25-Jul-16 21:55:36

Any voluntary work he would do? Okay so he wouldn't be paid but if it was in a field of work he is interested in them it could be a foot in the door and if not it looks good on a CV.

annandale Mon 25-Jul-16 22:22:46

Nothing increases your self esteem like just getting a job and turning up every day and doing it and getting paid and realising you can do it. So I think that even if you have to find him the job and haul him into it, it's well worth a go. Much harder now of course.

GourmetGold Tue 26-Jul-16 13:24:22

First of all he is so lucky he has you, a caring and interested parent.
My parents were completely disinterested in me after about the age of 11, I had (and still continue to suffer sometimes) low self-esteem and depression and really struggled with life in general, IMO due to their behaviour towards me (constantly critical, bullying, comparing me unfavourably to friends' children).
So if your son has a parent that cares that will be helpful for him.

The upside of having no support was that I had no choice but to just get out there and find jobs. I ended up doing a lot of office temping from age 18 onwards...I registered with all the job agencies I could find and got lots of work and enjoyed the variety, from post girl, tea lady to secretary.
So much easier than endless interviews and I was also offered permanent jobs by employers, through the temporary jobs.
There are training companies like Pitman that can help with short courses that look good on your CV.

For a while I did a Sunday job washing pots/waitressing in a local pub, alongside the office work, for extra money and meet people/build confidence...actually bar work/waitressing seems quite good for building confidence, learning to chat with customers, staff and teamwork.

To improve self-esteem I've found CBT good...maybe you could find a CBT therapist for your son? I wish i'd known about CBT when I was a teenager. There are some great books my Dr David Burns on CBT.

If I went back in time now to after leaving college, I wish I'd done some evening classes or joined local clubs for walking, crafts etc...good places to meet others with similar interests and build confidence.

truthwithin Tue 26-Jul-16 13:45:38

Count yourself lucky he has even applied. Even the task of lioking has so far, eluded my 18yr old. I've offered to pay any extra expenses towards an apprenticeship.

Nothing. I've also told him Pokémon Master is not a valid career.

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