In considering the crisis of teenage unemployment, I realize how lucky I am to have gotten my current job at Temple Sinai. In the Jewish community where I live, many parents send their children from kindergarten through tenth grade to Hebrew school. It was through this process that I was identified as a leader and offered a job at the corresponding temple. Supervisors, who oversaw other programs at the temple, took note of the level at which I was performing and how I interacted with the kids. I have now worked at Temple Sinai Religious School for four years. This translated into a summer job working for the nursery school.
It is because I live in this specific community that this opportunity was afforded to me. Parents in my community have the financial means to pay for childcare. They consider the lessons learned at an early age to be vital to development, and are able to pay the hefty price tags attached to these programs The greatest chunk of my income comes from babysitting jobs that result from my connections at my place of primary employment. If I lived somewhere else, I would not be gaining the income or skills I have in my community.
In addition to the benefits of having a disposable income, the skills that I have obtained working in these jobs will help me find other jobs in the future. From my experience, it seems the best way to find a job is to have a job because employers hire people with experience. I feel fortunate to have this job and to be gaining skills when I know others do not have the same opportunities. I am learning reliability, accountability, management skills, and organizational skills; I’m even gaining crisis management skills. This is necessary workplace training that can be applied to most professions in one capacity or another.
I am considering going into the Art History field, and I know that if I work in a museum, all of these skills will be useful to me. These skills will also be essential in an office environment. It’s a tragedy of circumstance that others are not able to gain the same skills opportunities that I am granted.
Image from Flickr Creative Commons 2.0 by User austin_squire