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POV: Think senior living for career start

Alternatively, a high school or college student can intern in specific departments, including accounting, marketing and human resources. For the right person, the industry offers strong wages, top-notch benefits, a warm, supportive working atmosphere and consistently high levels of job satisfaction. Young people bring their own unique brand of good medicine to seniors. Residents feed off of youthful enthusiasm and energy and enjoy hearing modern-day, coming-of-age stories just as they enjoy relating their own remembrances and dispensing nuggets of advice to a young person facing a challenge in their personal or professional life.

Senior living administrators truly want — and need — to hire teens and new college graduates. Not everyone needs to be on a career track to work at an assisted living or retirement community. These can also be wonderful, safe, nurturing places for that first-ever job. Along the way, young people gain experience in working with the older generation and pick up the kind of hard and soft skills that are in demand and can be illustrated on resumes and college applications.

So to teenagers who may be interested: Go visit your grandmother’s assisted living community or an older family friend who has taken up residence there. Look around. Talk to employees. And if you can see yourself working with interesting people who appreciate your youthful enthusiasm and energy (and who are chock full of fascinating stories and wise counsel) and if you want to learn new skills in a positive, supportive environment, then by all means, go fill out a job application. Your decision could have a tremendous impact on someone’s life — and not just your own.

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