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3 Ways to Boost Your Teen’s Future Earning Potential

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Summer break is well underway. Many teens may already have a simple routine in place—sleep in, hang out with friends and stay up late. If you’re looking for a break from the norm, encourage your teen to do some self-improvement to positively impact his or her life into the future. Start with one (or more!) of these three fun activities:

 

Learn a foreign language
We live in a global society. No matter the industry, it’s likely that an English-speaking person will need to converse with someone who speaks a foreign language at some point.

 

While the exact numbers on the potential pay bump aren’t confirmed, experts estimate an hourly increase between 5 and 20 percent! Additionally, if an original career plan falls through, speaking another language is a valuable skill that can open the door to a wider spectrum of new job opportunities.


If you don’t know where to start, sites like Memrise, Duolingo and Open Culture are excellent jumping-off points for your teen. There are dozens of YouTube tutorials on syntax, grammar and expression for foreign languages, too. The only wrong step is not starting at all!


Master a piece of software
Learning to use a common piece of software can give your teen a serious leg up when it comes time to job-hunt. Look to programs with clear business applications. Anything from the Microsoft Office suite is a great first step. If cost is an issue, consider experimenting with GoogleDocs, Sheets and Forms. These are free and cloud-based, plus your teen can keep experimenting with them on his or her smartphone when they hit the road.


According to LinkedIn, competency in computer programs, such as Access and Sheets, is the #2 most in-demand skill of employers. These versatile programs can be adapted to a variety of interests. For example, while learning, your teen could track the statistics of their favorite baseball players, monitor the prices of hot clothing brands or catalog a music library. The important thing is that they start discovering the capabilities and limitations of these popular pieces of software.


Give those writing skills a good polish
For many positions, the ability to communicate ideas clearly is of vital importance. Like any other skill, the more you practice, the better you get. The best way to become a better writer is to write (and read)!


If you’re looking for a writing project for your teen, National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org) runs an online summer camp for folks who want to bounce ideas for their next great story. Another option to suggest is blogging—people are always looking for a new take on the NFL draft, new albums, video games or anything else. Platforms such as Blogger and WordPress are free to try and offer the ability to network with other people with similar interests.


Elevated writing skills won’t just help with your teen’s job search, it will also be a useful skill during their school career. Papers and essay tests will be easier, and cover letters and college application essays will stand out. Encourage them to write, edit and write some more!


After your teen hits the books, or laptop, to master one of these activities, a reward is certainly in order. Try Mountain America’s Student Rewards Checking Account. Your teen can earn points toward travel rebates, gift cards, event tickets and more. Then, go buy a cupcake!

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