The Role You Take Before Going On Your Own
Independence, it’s something you seek, but also brings a sense of fear. You want to learn to be on your own, but still rely heavily on mom and dad. To help you deal with the responsibilities of being independent of your parents, we’re providing eight practical habits that will help you establish a strong foundation to feel comfortable when it’s time to leave home and be on your own. Here are the first three:
1. Cook and Clean the Kitchen
Once out of your parents’ house you’ll need basic skills of how to make your way around a kitchen. You don’t need to be a gourmet chef, but you do need to know how to establish a nutritious meal. Basic sustenance is important, which comes from eating a healthy, balanced meal. Make sure you consume plenty of fruits and vegetables in a day along with a good source of protein at every meal. Feel free to snack, but don’t rely on junk food to fill you up for the moment.
Creating a healthy meal involves planning ahead. Make a menu of your favorite dishes and join mom when she goes grocery shopping. Before you’re on your own, you’ll want to know the layout of a grocery store. Every store has a similar layout; so don’t waste your time going back and forth down every aisle. Familiarize yourself with the prices as well; this will become a huge help when establishing a meal plan.
Cooking isn’t just about meal preparation, cleaning up after the meal is part of the process. Unloading the dishwasher is just as important as loading it, so don’t consider yourself done once the dishes are clean, they need to be put in their proper place as well.
Clean up any time you make a mess in the kitchen, even if you’re just fixing a quick snack. Make sure all your dishes find their way back into the kitchen after they’ve been used, and don’t just set them on the counter for mom to put away – you know where they go. If you’re tired or in a rush, still take a few seconds to put things in their proper place. It’s faster to do it in the moment rather than having to do twice as many later.
Eating out is expensive, so you can’t rely on going out every day. For those days that you do decide to eat out, be sure you’re polite to patrons sitting around you along with your waiter and tip at least 15%. Don’t be stingy, some day you may be in their shoes, needing a little financial boost.
2. Clean the Bathroom
Cleaning the bathroom is dirty work, but if you have to clean up after yourself, you’re more likely to be aware of the mess being made. When it comes to cleaning the bathroom, there are different cleaning supplies used for different reasons. You’ll need to find the right approach for you. There are harsher solutions that clean grimier messes or there are solutions that are more natural. You can purchase a different cleaning solution for the toilet, shower and sink, or find a multi-purpose cleaner to do the trick. Since a lot of germs reside in the bathroom, it should be cleaned pretty regularly, and wiping down the sink and counter isn’t enough. Build-up can occur if you don’t clean the toilet (inside and out), and don’t forget the floor, mirror, shower or bath. To help with mold and mildew, be sure to let your shower curtain air out, or you’ll find yourself replacing it pretty regularly.
3. Get a Job
Working isn’t just about making money and getting a job isn’t just about filling out an online application. To become hired for a job, whether at a retail mall or by a neighbor to mow the lawn, you need to understand the importance of networking – utilizing your connections and the people you know. But, regardless of who you know, you need to start at the bottom. You aren’t going to work your way up to a manager position in high school, and probably not even college, so don’t expect it. Do your best, even if you don’t love what you do. Making a commitment develops a lot of self-discipline. No matter how difficult the situation or mundane the job, quitting is not an option.
Once hired, your boss has expectations of you. You’re responsibility is to meet those requirements. Be on time, work your full shift and respect your break time. If possible, make yourself available to work flexible or extra hours, and support others if they need you to take their shift. Be a team player. When you work with other people, you work more efficiently. Combine your skills – we all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. Recognize your own strengths and let someone else carry the team where you’re weak. By understanding where you’re needed, you’ll gain a sense of self-worth because you’ll see that you’re wanted and needed. The Bible says that we’re all a part of one body; act as one element of that body by honoring others, listening to their ideas and building relationships.
So, how do you get that job? Be observant. Take note of who’s hiring and be brave enough to ask how to apply. Don’t ask during the busiest time of day or week, and don’t ask in your jeans and t-shirt. Once you’ve submitted an application, you’ll need to prepare for an interview. You don’t need to wear a business suit to your interview, but dress nicely according to the place in which you’re trying to find employment. It doesn’t hurt to have a resume on hand as well. During your interview, make eye contact, smile, act interested, listen to the question being asked and answer with a direct response. Be sure to follow-up so you aren’t forgotten.
Not every company or organization can hire teenagers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work. Here are some options to consider: office administration, pool, grocery store, retail, restaurant, movie theater, ball park, mow lawns or other landscaping, day camps, baby sit, sell homemade goods, walk dogs, amusement park, car wash, house cleaning. If you don’t need money, do an unpaid job shadow, an internship or volunteer.