Summer employment can provide teens more than just a paycheck. Getting a job can be an important steppingstone, helping them transition into adulthood by giving valuable life experience.
Earning & learning: perks of teen jobs
Some of the benefits a summer jobs for teens include:
Career exploration. Summer jobs and internships can help high school students explore different career paths that might interest them. There also might be opportunities to begin networking and finding future mentors.
Financial independence. Teens can learn valuable financial skills such as budgeting and money management.
Time management. Teens can learn how to manage their time, set deadlines and be accountable for their work.
Communication skills. Teens can learn how to communicate effectively with their supervisors, customers and colleagues.
Work ethic. Teens can learn work-ethic values in the workplace, such as teamwork, respect and responsibility.
Self-confidence. Working in real-world situations boosts self-esteem and self-confidence. Earning a paycheck gives teens a sense of achievement.
When looking for a summer job, suggest that your teen consider the following:
Is it a good fit? Look for a job that aligns with their interests and skills. For example, if they are good communicators, customer service and sales jobs are appropriate choices.
Is it flexible? A summer job should be flexible enough to accommodate a teen's schedule. This is especially important if they plan to take summer classes or do extracurricular activities.
Does it leave time for family fun? Summer vacations are common among families, so teens will need to take these into account when seeking summer employment.
Overscheduling can lead to burnout and make summer challenging. It is important for teens to consider their priorities and maintain a balance between other commitments.
How to find a summer job
There are resources available to help teens make the most out of a summer job search.
Online job boards. Job portals list seasonal summer job opportunities, internships, and volunteer positions. Create a job profile on job boards that list summer jobs. Use the right keyword to narrow your search criteria to apply and submit your application.
Job fairs. Typically, universities, schools, and community businesses hold job fairs. Employers network with job seekers, exchange information, and explore employment opportunities. Ask friends, family, or your school's job placement center about career and job fairs near you.
Network. Ask your teen to let their teachers, friends, family, or neighbors know they are seeking a summer job. Word-of-mouth recommendations, referrals, or suggestions can make finding a summer job easier.
Seasonal businesses. Local businesses, park districts and other community organizations need extra help during specific seasons. Seasonal businesses include tourism, retail, construction, summer parks, lawn care, tutoring and personal training.
Note: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) typically establishes 14 years as the minimum age for employment. It limits the number of hours teens younger than 16 can work. It also forbids the employment of individuals younger than 18 in hazardous occupations.
Volunteering & other opportunities
Teens may find it challenging finding summer jobs due to inexperience, age restriction, competition and limited opportunities. If they are not able to find a summer job, there are other opportunities for learning. Encourage volunteering, entrepreneurship, freelance projects or classes to learn job skills.