We’ve had issues with this site, and those – along with some vacation time – mean occasional posts here for the next week or two. You might’ve noticed some of the problems we’re trying to iron out, and I hope that soon we’ll have a fresh design and more reader-friendly format. Meantime, follow me at Twitter (@FullerJohn) and Facebook (FullerJohn) for more frequent updates.
My daughter was in a panic. She accidentally threw away her retainer at a New Year’s party. We were already 25 minutes away when I called the host family and explained the situation. The man of the house told me he’d look for that expensive piece of plastic and metal. Later, he told me that he donned some gloves and went through three large garbage bags of post-party trash before finally finding the retainer. My daughter wept with relief, and a valuable lesson – about putting that thing in her pocket, or her purse – but NOT on her plate – was learned.
Maybe you’ve been there? Seems more and more parents have children in braces. According to the Wall Street Journal,
The number of children 17 and younger getting orthodontic treatment has grown 46% over the past decade to 3.8 million in 2008.
That’s an interesting stat. Perhaps your family is included there?
We’ve had four of our kids so far, in braces, with certainty that at least one more will have a metal mouth. Our orthodontist who has delivered dramatic results, and he has really worked with us in helping the children have proper bites and straight teeth. I’m good with it all – in fact, I wore braces as a teen.
The exception in childhood orthodontic success for us is that one of the kids, after two years or so of braces, went through a growth spurt, and the jaw expanded and threw the entire treatment out of whack. So those two years were essentially wasted, bringing to mind the lack of guarantee when it comes to early-use of braces.
Are your kids in braces? Do you subscribe to the early treatment approach? Have you had a negative experience with kids and braces?
Following up on a previous post, further job interview tips for teens. You’ll recall I drafted these thoughts to help one of our sons know what to expect and how to prepare for a hiring interview. As always, your input is appreciated!
At the interview:
- Dress appropriately. Better to dress up a bit more than expected. This is especially important if you’ll be meeting with older “decision makers,” who inevitably place some consideration on appearance.
- Take a notebook so you can jot down details.
- Upon meeting, look the person in the eye and give a firm handshake.
- Ask for a business card. During the conversation, refer to the interviewer by their last name (Mr. Smith, Ms. Jones).
- Be honest and direct, but not brutally so.
- Be humble.
- Show a willingness to learn, and to put in the hard work necessary to show your value to the employer.
- Don’t talk too much. If in doubt, answer with shorter responses, and indicate you could certainly give more detail if needed. Be respectful of the interviewer’s time.
- Be respectful.
- Remember this isn’t really about you. This is about the employers need to fill a position. Try to emphasize how your skills and interests match up with their need. Help the interviewer see how you could do the job and do it well.
- Be confident. Don’t oversell yourself, but exude a can-do attitude.
- Close the time with a couple of clarifying questions:
• What kind of time frame are you looking at for making a decision?
• Would you mind a follow-up call in a few days?
Great comments affirming the decision many years ago to make a dramatic audio series for kids:
I want to thank you for creating Adventures in Odyssey. As a kid, the program reinforced the lessons my parents taught me. We didn’t have a television in our house, so naturally I spent more time listening to the radio than most of my peers. Whit and the gang made the Bible exciting for me and taught me that you don’t have to be an adult to be a Christian.
Now, as a 20-year-old college student, I still enjoy AIO greatly and listen to it whenever I can. Many of the things I know about the Bible, and living the Christian life, I first learned from AIO. I even learned some words that helped me out in my first year of Biblical Hebrew! The show is wonderful – keep up the good work.
I wonder if YOU have an “Odyssey story” to share?
Just last night our 14 year-old daughter expressed her desire to find work – not yet, but maybe in the next year. We’re not pushing that, but she has developed some financial goals and I’m certainly agreeable if she gets the right job. She’s got a terrific personality, a lot of energy and enthusiasm – I’d hire her!
Of course, the current economic environment has left many unemployed, and that is also adversely affecting the job market for young adults. It takes a lot of hard work and competition, especially for entry-level work, is rather fierce. That’s what one of our boys is presently up against. Off an an adventure to Portland, Oregon, our second son has been actively looking for a job. As he put in applications and went through interviews these past weeks, I collected some thoughts on paper to help him understand the process and have a better chance of success. Here’s some of that advice; I’ll post more later. For now, quick perspectives on preparing for an interview:
• Know what your past jobs have been, and think through what you liked about each – and how you grew through the experiences (job interviewers want to hire individuals who grow and learn, who adapt, who are positive thinkers).
• Know what your previous employers thought of your work.
• Know what you want in a job (room to advance, flexible hours, a chance to contribute).
• Have some ideas about how you’ll answer some of the standard interview questions.
• Know when, if hired, you can start.
• Also, have two or three questions ready – ask about the future potential of the job/company, what the employer values most in an employee, or perhaps how long folks who have this position usually stay in that role.
• Be ready to answer a question about your future goals. This could very well come up, and you’ll want to give a reply that shows you have plans, but that this job fits into them (somehow).
• Research the company and the job. Find out (from the company’s website, current or past employees, news stories) what the organization is all about, what it values, how it measures success.
• Learn anything you can about the job – what does it require, entail and encompass?
This is a short list, and I’d welcome your additions.
Encouragement to start your week: God can -and frequently does – use our efforts to touch others. Here’s a powerful example of how He recently took a radio program and used it to help a couple and their pastor:
A pastor contacted Focus to thank us for a providentially timed broadcast. A young married couple in his church had come to him for help with some emotional struggles in their relationship. The minister felt ill-equipped to assist them, as much of their difficulty stemmed from health issues which were unfamiliar to him. A few days later, he heard a Focus program that addressed those very concerns! The pastor admitted that he “just cried and cried” when he heard the program. He called to request two recordings of the broadcast – one for the couple and one for himself.
When you pray for and give to Focus on the Family, you’re partnering with us touch the lives of men and women around the world. Thanks for being on “our team!”