OTTUMWA — Teenagers in Ottumwa need summer jobs, but how they secure them has changed in the past decades.
Now, teens looking for work have to worry about their online reputation, their attitude and, most importantly, where they will go searching for a job.
Vickie Schlieff, the manager of the Ottumwa branch of CEC Theatres, knows that an important part of the application process is a teenager’s appearance. “Everybody comes in and puts in applications, but how they dress when they come in really counts,” she said. T-shirts and baggy jeans won’t make a positive impression on her, but having a good attitude is an important aspect of the job. Displaying a phony set of good morals won’t get you anywhere. The starting point for when teens are hired is the concession stand. They can work their way to either option of being a cashier or an usher. Schlieff mentions an age requirement of at least 16, but what really comes first to her in mind is responsibility. In fact, it’s the first determining factor when she starts hiring.
For example, did Mom bring in her child’s application?
“It’s all a matter of responsibility … is your son trying to get the job,” Schlieff said, “or do you want to get him the job?”
A great attitude shines through at work because in the past, some teens haven’t lived up to expectations. Some of these characteristics of a positive attitude are, according to Ottumwa Parks Director Gene Rathje, “someone that dresses in a professional way [and] reflects a positive attitude and unshakable confidence and arriving on time to begin working immediately.”
That, he said, gives “positive results.”
Although becoming a lifeguard may seem an easy task to perform once you know how to swim, safety must always come first. Rathje lists requirements such as having to be trained and certified by the Red Cross and undergoing a training program once the teens are hired to ensure eligibility.