Where Are the Jobs for Young People?
Delivering Papers, Flipping Burgers, and Beyond
Piggybank on It
While job openings may be limited, a young child can make his own opportunities by starting a business. This is discussed in Today's Businesses for Kids.
Piggybank on It
Special businesses or industries in your area may offer unique work opportunities for kids. An amusement park, a factory, or a computer company may have openings for youth, particularly those of college age. New York City, for example, offers kids of all ages the chance to get into television and commercials or to work on Broadway.
The type of job your child seeks out in the world depends on his age and his abilities. As a practical matter, it may also depend on whether he has a driver's license and the use of a car. Also, state labor laws may limit the type of work that your child can do and hours that he can put in.
For younger kids (those who don't have a driver's license), job choices may be limited. Here are some ideas for openings that may be available in your area:
- Baby-sitting. Depending on customs in your area, kids as young as 11 and 12 start to baby-sit as a way to earn money. Baby sitters are usually in big demand, especially on Saturday nights, open school nights, and holidays when parents want to go out. Older teens also have opportunities to watch other children after school until parents return from work. The money's good, too—in my neighborhood, the going rate is now about $7.50 an hour.
- Pet care. Neighbors have dogs that may need to be walked during the afternoon when they're at work. Even at a young age, kids can usually handle the task of walking, feeding, and playing with pets. Pet owners may also need pet care when they're away on vacation.
- Paper delivery. Kids don't hawk papers on street corners anymore, but newspaper delivery routes are still available in some areas. In fact, some routes are so prized that they're passed down in families from older to younger kids.
- Snow shoveling and yard work. Both winter and summer, there's always work to be done around a house. Neighbors—particularly elderly ones—may be more than happy to have the help.
When your child is older, there's usually a much larger pool of jobs to choose from. This is especially true if he has a driver's license. Here are some ideas:
- Camp counselor. Your child may be able to find a summer job at a day camp near you or at a sleep-away camp. The pay is modest, but if your child likes working with kids and being outdoors, the match may be ideal.
- Store clerks and other mall positions. Clothing stores, book stores, and drug stores in your area may need someone to man the cash register, stock shelves, and help customers. Movie theaters, fast food chains, and supermarkets are also places to look for jobs.
- Delivery person. Pizza and other food deliveries are often made by teenagers. Usually, the business provides the vehicle for this job.
Watch Your Step
If your child uses a family car for business purposes, make sure that your insurance will cover any accidents that occur while he's on the job.
A stipend is a payment for services that's typically made in one lump sum.
Investing in Their Future
While money is always a strong motivation for working, sometimes it may pay to work for free. You child can take part in certain work arrangements that will pay off big-time in the future. She'll gain work experience, make important job contacts, and a whole lot more.
- Internships. Your child may find a position through his school that offers him work in a field that interests him. Many college programs now require students to do some sort of internship as part of the degree program. Internships are even open to high school students. While there may not be any money involved, your child receives supervision for this invaluable learning experience. He also may receive a stipend at the completion of the internship, or he might receive money to reimburse him for his transportation or lunches. Internships are a great way for a child to meet professionals and make contacts that can be used in the future to get a paying job.
- Volunteering. Nonprofit organizations, such food banks and hospitals, are almost always looking for more help with their projects. Your child generally can put in as much or as few hours as she wants and may be able to work in an area of interest to her. For example, your child may want to work as a candy striper at your local hospital to test out an interest in nursing. Or, she may be able to create her own volunteer position by contacting a business where she's interested in working, even though that company offers no paid position for her.
More on: Money and Kids
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Money-Smart Kids © 1999 by Barbara Weltman. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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