Question: “What kinds of jobs are there out there for teens — and how can I find one?”
by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
Well, first we need to separate the teens. Younger teens are not allowed to hold jobs because of state employment laws, while older teens can — and should (if possible) — gain work experience.
But before I send the younger teens away, let me stress the value and importance of working — whether it’s running your own yard-care business, delivering newspapers, or working at the local Wal-Mart, teens gain invaluable life lessons from working… just be certain that you don’t go overboard with the number of hours you work, especially during the school year. School and family obligations should always come first, but if there is still time left, consider that part-time job.
Okay… For younger teens who want to work and earn money, read this article: Job Ideas for Teens 15 and Younger: Beyond Babysitting and Lemonade Stands.
For all other teens, here’s my advice. All sorts of part-time job opportunities are available for teens, from waitressing and lifeguarding to working in a professional office. How can you go about finding a part-time job? Follow these guidelines:
- Talk to your family and family friends and neighbors. Just as with all other job-seekers, networking will help you find more and better opportunities than just going to the mall and walking store-to-store.
- Learn the basics of completing job applications. These forms can be a bit tricky at times to complete. And if you really want to wow potential employers, develop a resume.
- Dress appropriately when job-hunting. Put away those short skirts and thrift-shop duds, take the jewelry out of most of your visible piercings, and cover those tattoos. Most businesses are conservative – and want job-seekers to match.
- Be prepared to pound the pavement. Depending on the job market and competition from other job-seekers, you may have to work a lot harder to find a good part-time job.
- Set daily and weekly goals. If you are serious about finding a part-time job, set a goal of visiting so many stores, completing so many applications, etc.
- Follow-up is critical. Don’t just submit the job application and expect the employer to frantically try to reach you. Follow up with each employer by personally stopping in (especially for stores), calling, or emailing.
Learn lots more in this section of Quintessential Careers: Job and Career Resources for Teenagers.
This article is part of a series from The Career Doctor’s Cures & Remedies to Quintessentially Perplexing Career and Job-Hunting Ailments. Read more.
See a list of all the most common college, career, and job questions — and Dr. Hansen’s solutions.
Who is the Career Doctor? Learn more, read his current career column, or browse the column archives when you visit the Career Doctor’s homepage.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is a nationally recognized career and job-search expert. He is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Maximize your career and job-search knowledge and skills! Take advantage of The Quintessential Careers Content Index, which enables site visitors to locate articles, tutorials, quizzes, and worksheets in 35 career, college, job-search topic areas.