When it comes to summer jobs for teens, my perspective may seem somewhat unorthodox. I was raised to believe that being someone’s employee is only meant to be temporary. My father always stressed to us to make our own mark in the world. He firmly believed that there is no real security in working for someone else. This was perhaps as a result of his own experiences and that of our grandfather who worked for 25 years as a welder in a factory and then got laid off. I have carried on this tradition and stressed it to my own kids. When considering summer jobs, working for yourself is ideal.
This is relatively straightforward and easy to get started. If you do not have your own truck or trailer, you may need to employ the assistance of your parents’ vehicle or take on a responsible friend as a partner. Going door-to-door is the best way to advertise for your services. Typically, elderly neighbors will gladly pay your reasonable price for cutting the grass, pulling up roots and trimming their shrubs. Be sure to include the cost of your fuel in your price. And definitely do a great job. When the job is done to the customer’s satisfaction, leave them your phone number for repeat business.
Babysitting is also a great way to earn some extra money during the summer. Especially considering that school is out, parents can get overwhelmed and need a break from the kids. Also, when both parents work during the day, expensive day-care may not be an option. It is important to have references when you offer your services as a sitter. Ideally, you should have some background training in child CPR and first aid. These courses are often provided free to the community and listed in the local paper. Providing these credentials will give you that extra bit of credibility and reassure the parents you are a responsible and capable sitter for their children. Bring your own activities and supplies to entertain the kids and if you have a few jobs in your schedule, it is also good to keep a journal of any special needs a child may have.
Often, families like to go out of town on vacation for the summer. You can offer your services as a house sitter in your neighborhood. This doesn’t have to entail entering the home. It can be simply watering the plants/lawn, feeding the pets, collecting the mail/paper and generally keeping an eye on the place. Multiply this with your lawn service and babysitting and you have a very profitable summer business of your own. The additional benefit is that you build up a customer base each year!