Summer Money-Making Scenarios: Part One

No question that most of the jobs that used to be  open to teenagers for summer cash have been taken over by adults in this economy.  So, our teens may have to be more creative to get a paycheck.

For the Self Starters:

If you’ve got a confident kid who can manage herself, why not start your own business?   Take a look around your neighborhood and see what’s needed.  It’s a great idea to make up business cards with a name and contact info, but also any training or certification that adds credibility.  You can print 250 free business cards at Vistaprint by clicking here.

Babysitter: always good, but make your teen stand out by certifying in CPR, taking a babysitting course, having a “Bag of Fun” all ready to go with little items from the Dollar Store like balloons, bubbles and play-dough.

House-sitting, dog walking: the best way to get jobs here is to get glowing recommendations from former customers.  Few people want to leave their home or pet with someone without a solid background.  Offer to do these tasks for free to get your recommendations.

Personal Assistant: your teen will need reliable transportation and a good driving record for this one.  Have an info sheet that goes along with the business card that outlines thing people would be relieved to put on someone else’s shoulders: dry cleaning pickup, watering plants, addressing envelopes, picking up last-minute groceries and the like.  The more mundane the task, the happier someone will be to hire you to do it.  Once again, produce glowing references before they’re asked for.

Get Creative: we’ve got an awesome kid in our neighborhood who comes around every summer to scrub out trash cans.  His cards says: “Let Justin take care of your stinky problem.”  Justin earns money every year to volunteer in Africa and the cans are spic and span.  He charges $25.00 per can, spendy, but everyone on my street gladly says “Yes!” by the heat of July.

Does Your Kid Need Motivation Or Structure?

1-Help them create a crisp-looking resume that offers a variety of job skills that employers may find useful, even if your teen doesn’t have experience in that field.  There’s several free resume templates–click here.  Practice asking and answering  job interview questions so they’ve got some practice.  (Editor’s note: they’ll probably roll their eyes at you, but trust me, they’ll be secretly grateful.)

2-Utilize city and state resources: even though budget cuts have removed most teen programs, there’s still some programs available to help place your kid into a paycheck.  Look up your local Job Service listings, and check with your city Mayor’s office for work programs.

3-Scour summer programs: most schools, churches and youth centers offer additional summer programs and will require more manpower.  Start checking local bulletin boards and Craigslist for ideas.  There’s also a national gathering site called QuintCareers that lists dozens of job sites.  Be careful to avoid site requesting fees for their services.

4. Is your kiddo shy?  Some teens aren’t up to a high-pressure job interview.  If they’ve got good computer skills, there’s all kinds of opportunities for them online.  Click here to get an idea of what’s available.  Sneaky inside tip: ALWAYS check with your Better Business Bureau and online complaint forums to make sure the company’s legitimate.

5-Adjust your teen’s expectations: economists say this will be the first generation of children who will NOT enjoy a higher lifestyle than their parents.  Kids are still assuming that things should be easy and jobs should be pleasant.  While you don’t want to send your kid into a coal mine, they may need to be willing to roll up their sleeves and do work not always considered easy or “fun.”  Talk in a matter-of-fact way about some of the jobs you needed to do in order to start your way up the career ladder.  Let them know it’s just part of the process.

Next Week: decoding the mysteries of eBay, Yard Sales and Consignments

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One response to “Summer Money-Making Scenarios: Part One”

  1. Tammy says:

    Thanks for the great idea’s, both of my children are looking to find some extra money opportunities.

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