|Kelly Whalen, The Centsible Life
Courtesy of Block Talk
With summer break already in full swing in some areas, and warmer weather fast-approaching in other regions, many teens are looking for summer jobs. While you’ve probably read some basic tips, these tips and tricks will be able to land you the perfect summer job.
Make a list of interests and strengths.
Many teens jump right into whatever job they can find, but playing to your strengths will make your work more enjoyable and could garner you experience for your future career. While it may seem silly to write out a list it will help you narrow down your choices, and hone in on any special skills you have. For instance, if you have a sport in which you excel, consider being a coach or camp counselor at a camp. These positions will be more enjoyable and may pay better than a typical summer job. Another example, if you’re a peoples person, you can consider a variety of jobs such as server, cashier, retail worker, or even working as a salesperson. Using your people skills may mean earning more tips, or receiving a pay raise.
Consider cash vs. experience.
Most teens want to earn as much as possible…so they have more to spend, but it may make more sense for you to look for experience in your future career field. It’s a great time to try out career paths to be sure it’s what you’re truly interested in before you invest years of education in a field.
Experience can come from internships, working as an assistant to someone in your chosen field, or even working in a different capacity in that business. This may mean working as a receptionist or filing paperwork, but it will teach you a lot about the business. The time you spend learning now will also look great on college applications – or if you’re in college on job applications. If you are considering a trade – plumbing is an example – it’s an ideal time to reach out to local businesses to help you start learning now. This will allow you to get hands on experience-even if it’s just handing tools to someone else.
Look for high-paying gigs.
If you need cash over experience, look for high-paying jobs. Using physical strength in jobs such as landscaping will earn you more per hour (and help keep you in shape). Having skills other teens don’t can also help you earn more. For instance, competitive swimmers often lifeguard in the summer. After completing a lifeguarding course they are certified and trained, and can demand a higher pay rate than most teen’s typical gigs.
Please tip your server.
One of the best ways to earn extra money is through a job that allows you to collect tips in addition to your regular earnings. Just be sure you choose wisely. Waiting tables may seem like it can bring in a lot of cash, but restaurants pay their servers less than minimum wage since patrons tip. It varies by restaurant, but you’ll want to work somewhere that has a good customer base to earn the most.
Show me the benefits.
There are often benefits or perks for working at some companies. Whether it’s free meals at a local restaurant or gym membership since you lifeguard, those benefits can really add up if you would use those perks anyway. One pitfall to avoid is the ‘employee discount’ which seems like a great idea, but in the end you may blow your whole paycheck.
Make nepotism (or networking) work for you.
The easiest jobs to get are the ones your family members (or friends of your family) can offer. However, it can be a challenge to work with some family members, so consider it carefully. Job hunting is often about who you know, so don’t be shy. If you’re not sure of what to say, try talking about your summer plans or asking for advice about job hunting. While the adults you know may not have a job for you, they may know someone who needs a summer hire. For instance, you may be looking for a summer nanny or babysitting job, and find a family by sharing your availability with family friends.
Now that you’ve got the job, be sure to make a budget for where all that money is going. After all, there’s no use working hard to have no reward at the end!
What advice do you have for teens looking for summer jobs?