With summer vacation from school rapidly approaching, many teens are thinking about what they’re going to do with their summer. While the time off from school is more than welcome, the idea of whiling away the summer just hanging around home is less than an appealing prospect. With the prolonged recession that the economy has been in, many job opportunities that would have formerly gone to teenagers are now being filled by adults. The key to securing summer employment is a positive attitude coupled with a sense of determination and perseverance.
Traditional summer jobs for teenagers
Despite how tight the job market is, there should still be summer job opportunities in areas that are considered traditional. Fast food restaurants, grocery stores and supercenters, a wide variety of retailers, summer camps, and municipal parks and recreation departments all typically expand their summer work force targeting the teenage demographic. Plastering the local area with job applications and placing follow-up phone calls a couple of days later is absolutely essential to finding a summer job. If a teen merely submits an application and does not follow up, their application will end up unnoticed in a pile with all the other applications.
The importance of networking cannot be overstated. The teen that is looking for a job needs to communicate that aspiration with everybody they know including their parents, family, friends, parents of friends, family of friends, friends of friends, etc. Ensure that you ask them to pass the word along to others they know. While the process can seem daunting and formidable, this is where the positive attitude and perseverance pays off.
Creating your own niche
Many teenagers would do well to go out and create their own service-based summer job as opposed to relying on a corporate employer. Lawn care, landscaping, pet care, and babysitting can all be lucrative jobs that come with the satisfaction of “being your own boss.”
We have a neighborhood teenager named “Chuck” that my wife and I have nicknamed “Charlie Hustle” because this young man is willing to do just about any kind of odd job. He does lawn cutting, landscaping (including trimming bushes and hedges), planting and weeding gardens, and does “doggie patrol” pooper-scooping yards for dog owners. He has helped tear down sheds and outbuildings, split firewood, helped another neighbor pack up a moving van and moved an entire household worth of furnishings. He does in-home dog bathing, and even helped another neighbor re-seal their blacktop driveway. He babysits a pair of 5- and 6-year-old brothers every Friday night, and has even “house sat,” checking on a neighbor’s house and doing plant care while they were on vacation. He has an incredibly positive attitude, is willing to do just about anything, and charges the most ingenious rates I’ve ever heard. When you offer him a task and ask what he will charge, he replies with a big smile and a wink “Pay me what you think the job was worth.” He goes out of his way to always do a first-rate job. Watch out Warren Buffett, Charlie Hustle is breathing down your neck.