Mr. Tiffany reviews a student’s job application. (Vanessa Codilla)
Mr. Tiffany reviews a student’s job application.

Vanessa Codilla

Why teens struggle to find work

April 5, 2014

Junior Danielle de Rosas, a student at Holy Family High School who was looking for a summer job, became lazy after her first attempt of employment. “I applied at PacSun, turned in my application, and right then and there, the manager told me that they were already packed with other applications,” she said. “I was too lazy to find another job that hired at 16, and plus I really wanted to work there.”

As summer approaches, more and more teens struggle to find jobs. Reasons for unemployment may include a busy schedule, no response from employers, or even laziness.

Summer is the season when teens are more motivated to find a job. According to the McClatchy Washington News Bureau, the unemployment rates last year for teenagers dropped 7.4% in August. According to Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, 2013 showed the lowest teen employment rates.

For Clark, this school year has been an improvement with more teenagers applying for jobs. Randy Tiffany, work experience and work permit coordinator, said that he issued more permits this year than the past five years. “There was only about 35 work permits last year, but I have issued more permits ten years ago,” he said.

From the many permit applications, Tiffany said that many students abandon the job process because it is more work than they anticipated. The student must apply for a job, turn in the job application, get interviewed, and if hired, they must come see me and apply for the work permit, and then the real work permit will be issued. “I’ve had kids getting work permits from me, and after telling them the process, they end up complaining and get lazy to complete it,” Tiffany said.

Working had my schedule always busy, and I found myself becoming less concentrated on homework and studying.

— Anita Baghoomian

Junior Angela Barfyan went through a similar experience. Barfyan applied to American Eagle in the Americana at Brand. After completing the job application and turning it into the company, they never called back. “I really did want the job, but the employers never called me back, so I didn’t try looking for another job,” she said. Barfyan did not want to go through the job hunting process because she feared that the next store she would apply to will not call back as well.

Lack of communication between an employer and an applicant should not be a reason for a teenager to stop looking for a job. Statistics show that almost 200,000 jobs are created every month, available for both young and adult workers. “There are many jobs out there, students just need to go after them and put in effort,” Tiffany said.

In some cases, the employers failing to follow up on a job applications was not an issue as to why students fail to work. Sometimes, students successfully get hired, but then fail to continue their employment due to grades. “I had to call companies to let kids go because they did not maintain their 2.0 GPA,” Tiffany said.

Ani Agadzhanyan completes a job application for a retail store.
Ani Agadzhanyan completes a job application for a retail store.

Junior Anita Baghoomian, who once applied for a job during the school year, had to discontinue her employment due to her concern over how employment would affect her academic performance. “It was not because my grades were bad, I just wanted to maintain my educational priorities,” she said. “Working had my schedule always busy, and I found myself becoming less concentrated on homework and studying.”

Although handling a job, school and personal events can become challenging, Tiffany said he would never take a busy schedule as a reason to deny a teenager from working. “If there’s a real need for money in the family, and the student does not have a 2.0 GPA, I would waive that and sign the permit,” he said. “No family should go hungry because of me!”

Even though the grades can be waived, junior Ani Agadzhanyan, who wanted to make an attempt at working, found herself to be too busy to even think about getting a job. “Yes I would want to work and get paid, but I feel like I have more important responsibilities to attend to,” she said. Agadzhanyan thinks that working shows great responsibility, but balancing her entire life is already work itself. “I do not want to be so busy that I am always in a rush,” she said. “Working is nice, money is amazing, but I would rather have time for myself and time for the people I love.”


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