08-01-2017 05:13 PM - last edited on 12-01-2020 03:03 PM by Janine-RO
My 16 year old son is a great kid and has been looking for a job for awhile now, but I'm starting to get concerned he'll never get one, and it's starting to affect his confidence.
The problem is he has a prominent red birthmark on his neck, which unfortunately looks a lot like a hickey (love bite). I think when he is handing in applications and resumes, prospective employers are looking poorly at him thinking he's going in there with a hickey, he was even asked once if it was a hickey when he was handing in a resume, when he said no the girl rolled her eyes at him as if to say "yeah right"
I don't know how to help him, my mummy instincts are kicking in and I want to help him. He has a recruitment day coming up at a fun park type place and I almost feel like emailing ahead and explaining/pleading with them to employ him and I can explain the birthmark. But he's 16 and I don't want to overstep my mark, and I don't want them to think I'm overbearing and maybe hurt his chances at a job even more.
I just don't know how I can help him 🙁
08-01-2017 05:48 PM
Hey @steph, welcome to ReachOut Parents!!
It's so lovely of you to be so concerned. It's so hard not to want the best for your child.
Do you know how he feels about it? There are lots of makeup options you could get that would easily cover it, which I would think he would have heard about. So is it possible he doesn't care?
08-01-2017 06:38 PM
08-01-2017 06:44 PM
My experience with two late-teen kids is that jobs can be difficult to get for anybody at the moment. Some people are lucky, but most seem to take a while.
Honestly I would be surprised if the birth mark has a big influence. I did recruitment for a government department for many years and there is no way we would let a birth mark influence us. Maybe the receptionist who accepts the applications might mention it, but not a professional recruiter. If there is a doubt talk to one of the recruitment firms.
Alternatively Headspace gave my daughter some advice on getting a job, they put her in touch with someone who helped her put a CV together and that sort of person would be able to set your mind at ease over the birthmark, and give your son some great advice too.
08-01-2017 09:48 PM
Hi @steph . So śorry to hear that your son I sent having problems finding a job . Like @Schooner says jobs for kids are very competitive and hard to come by lately . Don't despair it can take a lot of work my daughter sent out loads of resumes and got nothing back . Eventually we were at the local bowling club and I asked for her and she got a position . Thanks Mum 😜
It's wonderful that he is keen to get out there and gain some independence and create some financial freedom for himself . Good on him ! Shows you have brought him up with a good solid work ethic !
Options to perhaps consider :
As @Ngaio-RO says if you really think the birthmark is an issue there are some make up foundation ranges that are specifically for birthmarks .
Even though it is fabulous he doesn't give a stuff about it , ( well done to you ) I do believe that some people can be shallow and make judgements on very superficial things and first impressions are unfortunately far to influential in decision making , especially when you have two great candidates and are looking for the smallest point of difference 🙄 Talking to him about this might be an possibility ?
It might be a good idea to talk to him about this BEFORE you start buying him foundation 😂or he might start to worry it is something he needs to be ashamed of rather than you are doing it because others can be shallow .
The other take on the whole thing could be " **bleep** them if they are going to be that shallow and make assumptions why would he want to bloody well work for them anyway . Better to keep trying until you get the right employer " .
The other option is when he is feeling that the interview is going well is to actually point out his birthmark and say ," I just want to make sure you know this is a birthmark not anything else ! " and turn it into a a bit of a laugh saying some people in the past have thought it was one so he just wanted to make it clear .
They may enjoy his assertiveness and and being upfront !
Anyway , just some food for thought...
Best of luck with the job hunting !
08-02-2017 07:52 PM
Hi @steph, thought I would share my experience. I have three sons all of whom obtained part time jobs through word of mouth. There weren't even resumes or interviews involved. So it might be helpful to let everyone know your son is looking for work, you never know who might know someone who needs someone etc.. My eldest son in particular had severe acne at age 16, 17 and 18, pimples on top of pimples, which you can imagine is not that attractive to look at. People (friends and family) would say to me "what are doing about his acne?". As my son had never ever complained or mentioned it I actually never gave it a second thought. My reply to them was simply a shrug. His acne issues never caused problems for him in obtaining work and by the time he hit 19 they had all disappeared without any medication or special effort. He has an apprenticeship now and a lovely girlfriend.
08-03-2017 10:51 PM
hi @steph, welcome to the forums!
I know it can be hard as a Mum, watching on as your kid starts to question or doubt themselves when they go through tough situations - including searching for a job! But as I read your posts, I hear how your son has already developed some inner strength because you've taught him and reassured him not to be bothered by his birthmark - and look at the result, he keeps going even if people say stuff to him. So, perhaps if he just understood that the process of finding a job is tough, and he doesn't make it personal (as though something was wrong with him, like he's not good enough, etc), then he can use his same inner strength to carry him through the job hunting process. And get even stronger through it. #keepgoing #dontgiveuptoosoon
08-04-2017 04:19 PM
Hi @steph, I relate so well to your instinct to help (i.e fix it, with me!), your awareness of not wanting to take away your son's choices or wants, and not wanting to look like the over-involved parent to potential employers. You're so not alone there, I wanted you to know.
My daughter's 15 and started working a few months ago, after many knockbacks. She has anxiety, bipolar and PTSD, has lived in her bedroom for the last 18 months, then got a job at a fast food restaurant!! She was excited, I was freaking out on the inside and could see this going very badly. My desire to call them to explain about my daughter ilnesses so they'd understand if she had any issues was so strong. I decided to talk to my daughter about it, and she told me she had it under control, she'd actually spoken to her manager herself, for the same reasons I'd wanted to.
She did have a bit of an episode a couple of weeks ago, and has only had 1 shift a week since, down from 4-5. Again, I want to call and find out why, but my daughter says she wants to deal with it.
So for me, I've decided to let my daughter handle it. If she needs me to step in, I will, but I'm trying to allow her some life experience.
I've been amazed and chuffed at how my daughter's managing it all, and I'm learning to trust her sensibilities.
You should be proud that your son has no issues with his birth mark, you've done a wonderful job. I grew up with a 'beauty spot' on my face, which I don't really notice. It was a bit of a shock finding out in my early 20's that it was actually a mole, haha. My mum had always told me it was my beauty spot that made me special, similar to what your son's grown up thinking about his birth mark. It's great!
I like @AeroGirl's suggestion about spreading the word about your son wanting to work. Word of mouth is a great way to advertise! Would your son be happy with you asking around for him?
I think the best way to help your son not lose his confidence, is to keep reminding him of the real difficulties in finding work faced by society. It is disheartening not hearing back or being knocked back, but it's nothing personal against him. We never know what's waiting for us around the corner