There are plenty of programs and support networks to help you take that first step.
Finding that first job is important in a teenager’s life. It helps them to become more independent, gain valuable job skills and make their own money. It can also set the stage for a positive work ethic and career.
In an interview with Diversity Magazine about first jobs, Christopher J. Nassetta, President and CEO of Hilton, said, “A first job can truly be life-changing, and at Hilton, we’ve seen countless examples of how someone can build their confidence, their skills and ultimately a fulfilling life if they are set on the right track in the beginning.”
On his personal Facebook page, Nassetta also posted, “As someone who has been passionate about hospitality since my first job in a hotel engineering department, I know firsthand how life-changing early jobs can be,” he wrote. After he posted the comment, many followers commented about their own first job in the hospitality industry. Grethel Flores posted about how she was an intern for the Hilton Miami and 12 years later Hilton was the only company she ever worked for. Glow So posted about his first job, at 16 years old, when he worked at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. He worked there until he was 23.
However, actually finding that first job isn’t always easy. To help young people find jobs, President Obama’s announced earlier this year that his 2017 budget included a program called The First Jobs Compact that offered nearly $6 billion in funding. The First Jobs Compact will help more than 1 million young people gain the work experience, skills, and networks from their first job.
There are several companies in the hospitality industry who have committed to joining the First Jobs Compact. Delta Airlines is a founding member of the First Jobs Compact and is just one of many companies who have committed to hiring at least 100 young out-of-school, out-of-work Opportunity Youth ages 16 to 24 to their first jobs.
Hilton Worldwide is also a founding member of First Jobs Compact. Over the last few years, they have committed to hiring young people. They have created additional opportunities, such as Youth in Hospitality Month. According to Hilton’s website, Youth in Hospitality is a month-long awareness campaign where hotels connect with young people via job fairs, career guidance talks, and job shadowing to learn about careers in hospitality.
In Hilton’s 2013 report “Creating Opportunities for Youth in Hospitality,” Hilton reported on how other hotels are offering youth job fairs and opportunities. Hilton Columbus at Easton (USA) invites secondary school students to the hotel for a day of job shadowing. Students complete a day of application and reviewing basic expectations, such as dressing professionally, working in teams, and providing exceptional customer service. The students tour the hotel, rotate through departments and perform basic duties.
The hospitality industry works hard at providing opportunities for youth. Hilton Adelaide (Australia) chef apprenticeship program offers a highly competitive four-year program, is open to 10 young people ages 14–25 who have prior hotel experience.
To follow any potential work opportunities under the First Job Compact initiative, follow #FirstJob on Twitter.