3 First Job Ideas for Teens

Finding a First Job for Families with Children

If you have children that are ready to enter the workforce, these are very exciting times. Thanks to a good economy and the rise of social media, kids today have access to more job opportunities than ever before. Even so, getting started can seem overwhelming. Teaching kids about the value of work is an important step for families who are struggling with debt.

Where to Start Looking

Before we get into specific job ideas, let’s talk about some of the different routes your child can take when they first begin looking for employment. In days gone by this would be easiest accomplished by grabbing the morning paper and sifting through the classifieds. But this is not the case in today’s world. Less homes than ever get a daily newspaper and many teens have never even seen a classifieds section.

One area kids excel is staying up to date with the latest technology and media sites. This offers many advantages when searching for a job. There are apps and websites that focus on jobs for teens. You can also search general job sites for entry-level positions.

Learning the value of networking can make all the difference in the job market. Fortunately most kids have the largest network of all. They interact with hundreds of different people daily through school and extracurricular activities. Asking other kids who are already working is a great way to find a first job. Kids also have access to guidance counselors, coaches, and other parents. Asking as many people as possible is the best way to get hired.

Odd Jobs Are Everywhere

Another option for kids is to take on an informal job, like cutting grass or walking dogs for people who are out of town. Asking friends and neighbors is a great way to stay up to date on jobs like this as they become available. People are always looking for babysitters or someone to tackle simple tasks they don’t have time to get to themselves.

The upside of working this way is being able to make your own schedule and work when you are able. It can also be a good way to learn about price negotiation. One obvious drawback is that there may not always be work available. This becomes less of a problem once you land a few jobs. People like to stick with someone who is familiar and does good work.

Jobs for Youth

Now that your kid has an idea of how to approach looking for a job, let’s look at a few examples of entry-level positions. Many of these were designed with kids in mind, and require no experience.

Grocery Store Bagger

A bagger at a grocery store can be a great first job, and can often lead to promotions and other types of job experience. Most neighborhoods have a couple of grocery store options. You should apply at more than one to increase your chances of getting hired.

Dishwasher/Busser

Restaurants are another great place to look for beginning employment. The turnover rate is high, and the jobs don’t usually require experience. This is a good choice for kids who might like to move up to cooking or management.

Ticket Taker

Ball parks and movie theaters are also good places to look for youth employment. They need ticket takers and people to work the concession stand. Another advantage is these places do most of their business when kids are out of school.

These are just a few of the jobs that can be easy to land for a kid with no experience. Even if the first job you find isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, every job you take will offer the most valuable thing of all: experience in the workforce!

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