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From Playstation® to Workstation is new book from career coach Suzanne Kleinberg. She hopes it will be an invaluable resource for teens, students, new graduates, parents, teachers and guidance counselors who want to know about resumes, cover letters, the hidden job market, internships, volunteer work, interviews and corporate culture.

“There is a serious disconnect for Generation Text between what having a job requires and what corporate culture actually is,” states Kleinberg, informed by her own experiences as a career coach who specializes in working with youth and new graduates. “From Playstation® to Workstation offers effective techniques to help them not only find and secure a job, but to guide them on the path of building a career.”

Suyzanne agreed to answer a few questions for about teens and summer jobs.

What is your best advice to help teens succeed on the job once they find one?

Listen, and try to learn as much as you can. Every job, no matter how high up the ladder it is, is a learning experience. Use your ears more than your mouth.
Learn from your failures. Failures, whether you make a simple mistake or get fired, are learning gifts. The hard truth is that you don’t learn from successes. Successes are great but you don’t grow from them.
Remember, everyone is replaceable, even the CEO of a company. When you were little, everyone got a trophy, win or lose, but that is not the real world. In the working world, you become special by the way you perform and behave. Status is earned through hard work. Although this sounds harsh, the sooner you realize it, the better success you will have.
Lastly, no matter what kind of job you have, work with pride and determination. There is no shame in any job, so don’t be embarrassed if your job is not as glamorous or as lucrative as you hoped it would be. Put in the effort like your livelihood depends on it, because it very well may.

If my teen earns money, what kinds of financial responsibilities should they assume?

Many teens feel that any money they earn during their summer job is theirs to spend as they wish, and depending on the parents’ financial situation and views, that may be the case. However, one of today’s greatest societal problems is debt, and money issues are the leading cause of divorce, yet children are not being taught the importance of financial responsibility. The best time for them to learn is when they start to earn their own money. For example, if your teen plans to go to college, it is not unreasonable that they contribute to that expense. Many parents request that their teen contribute to the household expenses each week, or, they require a teen to put a percentage of their earnings in the bank.

It may be difficult pressing money out of teens who resent this management. Some teens may refuse to contribute. In this situation, parents can tell their teens that they are now responsible to pay for their own expenses. If they overspend, then that is their problem. In most cases, this will teach them about balancing wants and needs and it may create an opportunity for parent and child to discuss budgeting. It may also beget an appreciation for how much the parents have been supporting them.

Suzanne Kleinberg has provided consulting services to corporations, not-for-profit organizations and individual clients. With a B.A. in Economics from York University, Masters in Project Management and PMP certification, Kleinberg is an avid ‘career changer’, having worked in a variety of fields that include stock brokerage, advertising, television production, financial and IT.

In 2010 she founded Potential to Soar, a unique career and talent coaching service wherein she guides new graduates, seasoned professionals and corporations, small and large, through private coaching, customized workshops and psychometric assessment tools.

See more from our interview with Suzanne on page 15 of the July issue.