It's the toughest job market in recent memory for teens, who are finding themselves competing with more people for fewer jobs, a result of layoffs that have left many people 10 years older or more desperate for jobs and willing to consider work that was once the domain of the under-20 crowd.

It's probably too late for summer jobs now, but many teens will want to work during the school year to save for college or, more likely, blow their money on convenience store snacks and overpriced, overrated, mall-based teen apparel. Struggling to find a job isn't any fun but, in the long run, dealing with a tough job market as a teen might be the best thing that could happen to someone.

Teens will have to learn how to put together a resume, interview well, dress appropriately, and hunt for jobs, skills that they could have gotten by without in a better economy -- it's no secret that many of the great entrepreneurs (Sam Walton being the most prominent) came of age during the Great Depression. Adversity breeds life skills.

If your teen is struggling to find a job, consider heading to the library to read up on job-hunting strategies -- it'll get him thinking about it long before most people do, and he'll be better for it.


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