“I would definitely recommend this job, it’s a good job for life experience, it’s a good job for conversations – I’ve never been bored for sure.”
That’s how Ben describes his work at New Perspective Senior Living in Roseville, where he works in the dining department. He takes food orders, delivers meals to senior residents and checks in to see how they are doing. He started there along with several of his friends last summer, when he was 15. One of his friends started working there first, and then Ben and three other friends quickly joined him.
"I really like talking with the seniors and they like to have young people around serving them. They want to hear how our lives are going like we like to hear from them,” he said of how seniors interact with him and his friends. “One of my friends has an actual grandma living here and he gets to go conversate with her whenever he is working.”
New Perspective managers – and the people who live in senior care there – appreciate the high school-age employees.
“It’s interesting, they become a grandparent in a lot of ways to these kids. For a lot of residents, they like seeing the energy of the younger kids at work,” said Doug Anderson, New Perspective Vice President of Marketing & Communications and Culinary Services. “It’s great to see how these cross-generational relationships start to build when the high school students are working.”
Anderson remarked that working in culinary services, sometimes called the dietary or dining department, is the perfect first job for high school students because of manageable hours – typically teens start right after school gets out and are done with work by 6:30 or 7pm so they can do homework or other evening activities. And these jobs build key skills they can take into hospitality – or a career in long-term care.
“We definitely see kids start in dining and move into caregiving,” said Anderson. “It provides an experience to help them identify what they want do as a career.”
Ben is only a sophomore in high school, so he has plenty of time to decide what he wants to do when he grows up, but thanks to his experience working in senior care, he says “I don’t know about a career in health care, but it would be an option for sure.”
Many health care employers have current positions open to teens, from dietary work like Ben and his friends do to nursing assistant positions to housekeeping. If you are a teen looking for work in health care, call a CareerForce location near you to get connected to employers hiring now or talk with your high school career counselor or advisor today.