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Beyond Babysitting: Super Summer Jobs For Teens

When you want to earn a bit of extra cash, babysitting will do just fine. If you’ve got family, friends or neighbors with small kids, it’s more than likely they will recruit you to babysit for them every once in a while – if you’re open and willing to do it. But what if you’ve got your sights set on a more permanent type of job this summer? If watching your nieces and nephews or the toddler next door isn’t quite what you had in mind, here’s our list of the coolest summer jobs out there for teens.

Camp Counselor

This may seem kind of like babysitting to you, but we assure you that it’s much more fun than that! Whether you choose to work at a day camp in your city or to be counselor at a sleep-away camp, this is a cool job that will expose you to tons of summer activities and help you make a new group of friends, i.e., the other counselors you’ll be working with.

The best way to find a job as a camp counselor is to inquire about openings at any camp that you went to when you were younger. Lots of camps like to hire teens that are already familiar with the campsite, activity and routines. And, if you have any special skills, like life-guarding experience, or are particularly talented in drama, arts and crafts, etc., you should mention that with your application. If there aren’t any openings for counselors, there may be openings for special types of instructors, life guards, etc.

In terms of day camps, check out your local community center or rec center. Many of these offer day camp programs to kids, and parents love to sign their children up because they have to work over the kids’ summer vacation. Day camps are fun because they often involve doing a new activity or going to a new location each day. It’s a great way to keep yourself busy, have fun and make some extra money this summer.

Life Guard

What could be better than laying by the pool all summer? Of course, there’s far more to being a life guard than that. Watching over swimmers and possibly having to help them should an emergency happen is serious business. That’s why this isn’t a job for just anyone.

If you want to be a life guard this summer you do need to have the right training and certification to do so. Life guards all over the country and the world need to be certified to watch over swimming pools, lakes and beaches. If you have your certification, you may want to visit some local pools and, if your town or city has them, beaches to ask about possible openings for jobs.

If the beaches you go to are still deserted and you want to find out if there are any jobs available, try looking in your phone book and finding the right city department number. Often, swimming pools and beaches are managed by the parks and recreation department of the city or town you live in. You could also try to look the department up on the Internet.

Dog Walker

This one, obviously, is best left to all the animal lovers out there. If you’re not cool or comfortable with dogs – big or small – and don’t particularly enjoy being around them, taking care of them or (especially important) cleaning up after them, then this is a job you’ll most likely want to pass up.

Dog walking can be really fun – just make sure you don’t get in over your head and take on too many clients at a time. You may think you’ll be OK handling more than one or two dogs at a time, but you never really know what can happen when you get a group of them together. Also, some owners may prefer that you walk their dog alone instead of in a group.

To promote yourself and your dog walking business, try putting up flyer around your neighborhood or asking dog owners you know if they’d be interested in having you walk their dog. Once you get a few clients, you’ll want to stay super organized and make sure you write down all the information you need about every dog (and his or her owner) that you walk. There will be lots of specific instructions given to you by owners, so keep a notebook or a day planner that you use exclusively for your business.

Car/Dog Wash

Washing cars or even dogs can not only be a way to cool off from the summer heat, but also a great method of making money! You don’t need much equipment to wash either cars or dogs, but there is one element that will be key in making your business successful – location, location, location!

Setting up in front of your house may not work out so well if you live on a really quiet street. You may want to post flyers around your neighborhood or town offering to go to people’s homes to wash their cars or dogs. You could even try contacting a local gas or service station and ask if they’d be willing to let you set up on their property. In return, you should give them a share of your profits.

Retail & Food Service

If you’re old enough (14 is usually the very youngest age business and store owners will hire) and feel you are ready to get your first “real” job this summer at a store or a restaurant, you’ll have to get ready to hit the pavement and start promoting yourself.

The first thing you need to do is create a resume for yourself. You should include your name and contact information on the resume, as well as any previous work experience you’ve had. If that only includes odd jobs like babysitting or a newspaper route, that’s fine – you should include those on your resume to show that you have already started working in some capacity and are ready and willing to take on a bit more responsibility now.

Once you’ve got your resume ready, you can perform job searches on the Internet. The problem with this is that many retailers and restaurants don’t really need to post openings online. You may find there’s not much on the web that suits the type of first job you’re looking for.

So, if you’re old enough to do this on your own and have asked your parents for permission print out a stack of resumes and head out to look for your first job. Be sure to dress appropriately and to use your best manners when you go into a store or restaurant to inquire about any summer openings they may have.

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Are You Getting a Job This Summer?

  • Yeah, I need cash!
  • No, I want to play all summer long.
  • Maybe - haven't made up my mind yet.
  • I might volunteer at one or two places.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

KayKayZ
KayKayZ posted in Friends:
Hmm, okay, well I'll try to give you the best advice that I can, Error. So you say you don't like your friend for a number of reasons: Liar, bad influence, uses swear words, too blunt, etc. I feel like some of these could be over-looked, such as the swearing and the 'bad influence' part. Really, all you have to do is just not copy her actions, and they won't be influential at all. If you disagree, it shouldn't be hard to just refuse to follow in her steps. However, lying isn't the best quality I would look for in a friend.  She doesn't seem like an enjoyable person to be around in general, which is why you are making this post, obviously. But I'm gonna ask you something here. Don't you think that, in a way, you're lying too? You're pretending to be her friend solely for purposes of monetary value because, I assume, your family cannot pay for or get you to gymnastic class themselves. If this is true, that's kind of bad, isn't it? It sounds like, to me, that your friendship isn't exactly a healthy relationship at all. But I'm gonna sympathize with you, since I know gymnastics must be important to you, and you wouldn't be doing this if you didn't have a good reason. So, what should you do about it? Well, personally I think there are a few things you could do. You could stop being her friend, therefore no longer having to deal with her; but in the process lose access to your gymnastics class and have to look for it in another way. On the flip side, you could continue to put up with her, which would probably not be in your best interests, but you'd still get to attend your class. Or, you could try talking to her about it. Ask her what she really thinks of your friendship, if she actually values you as her friend. Maybe you two can talk about problems that you're having with each other and work on fixing them. This option could have negative effects, since she might want to stop being your friend or things could become very awkward after that. But it's probably your best bet to be honest with her, as you'd hope she would be with you. How about if you tried being really nice to her? Kindness is contagious, and perhaps if you treat her well enough, she'll start doing the same to you. I feel like maybe if you complimented her, told her things that you really like about her, maybe even got her gifts or made her food once in a while, that she would come to appreciate you and all that you do for her. And in turn, she might start to respect you more herself, and become a good friend. That's about all I can say. If you're close enough with her mom, maybe you could even try asking her about her daughter and see if she can give you any advice. Hopefully that helped in some way, but if it didn't, maybe it at least made you think? I hope your problem gets resolved, Error, and you can be content with the outcome of it. :-)
reply 2 days
Error101
Error101 posted in Friends:
Okay so I have this friend and I don't like the type of person she is and I wouldn't be friends with her but her mom takes me to gymnastics every week.  I  had her over to spend the night and she lied about everything to me.  She kept telling me that she used to think I was weird and she didn't like me and it kind of hurt my feelings...  I would never tell someone that even if it was true.  She cusses and is a bad influence and she lies a ton.  There are a ton of bad qualities about her, and very few good ones.  I can't be mean to her because she is how I get to gymnastics but I don't really want to be her friend.  What should I do?  :(
reply 2 days
Wonderfulcalico
My parents have always been aggressive and abusive and I only just noticed it a couple months ago. Over time they've gotten worse (specifically my mother). Whenever she gets mad she'll yell at us and if she gets mad enough she'll hit and push us around. Whoever we get into arguments it's always one- sided and she always wins, even if she knows she is wrong. An argument we had not to long ago was about me not taking care of myself. She looked at my hair and started to touch it and told me "Your hair isn't soft why is it so dry, it's probably because you aren't taking care of your hair." Then she goes on to tell me that she's going to cut it and all of this other stuff when she knows I'm conscious about me looking like a boy ( Used to get called a boy for having short hair). As the argument goes on, I start to tell her things that she knows she is wrong about. She proceeds to yell at me then grabs me by the face and say "If you don't lower your tone and listen to what I'm saying I'm going to knock you in the head." Then she goes on to tell me she remembers nothing I was saying and that it's a lie. She also hit me when I didn't clean the laundry room correctly and whenever she gets fed up. I'm constantly having to watch what I say and do, because I'm scared that I'm going to end up hurt. She also likes to degrade me and tell how bad I'm doing. She's said plenty of thing like when I didn't have my bed covers tucked in she yelled at me and hit me and I said "Do you expect me to just stand here and take this", and she replied saying "That's what you are supposed to do you are the child and I am the adult, you take whatever I do until I'm done." Another time is when I had my band concert and I had to pick out the right attire. When we went shopping to get the clothing I chose slacks when she liked a skirt better, we went on to fight in the store and she bought the slacks. When we got home she said to me that real girls wear skirts and dresses and boys wear slacks and pants. This hurt me because she knows I have a past with people telling me I look like a boy etc. Another time I started to sleep on the floor, because I was practicing a minimalist life. When I left my pillows on the floor she found it and questioned me on why they were there. I told her it fell of my bed when really I left it there. Later when I told my dad, he told her and she got mad because I was getting cat hair on my pillows. She then proceeded to ask why I lied and I told her sometimes lying is better then the truth (I knew she would get mad that I was sleeping on the floor so I lied) then she told me that I was never going to have a relationship, a job, or friends ( This hurt me because I don't have friends now). She's also said that I don't take care of my body because I ate two sweets in one day which lead her to banning me from Doritos and now I have to ask to get chips and any other snack. She's told me I don't take care of my teeth because I have yellow spots from using whitening toothpaste with braces on. She's told me I don't take care of my hair so I can't wash it or do any hair style or then a bun. She had lead me to starving myself (Unless she makes me eat) and cutting myself. I've just stopped caring, because what ever I do is always wrong. I never get a choice in my activities, she controls my life in fact she me just in a different body. But what is even worse is that she's turning my dad into her. Now I have a scheduled time to eat breakfast and lunch, and to go onto my electronics. I feel like I'm in a prison with my parents constantly watching over me, in fact yesterday when I was pouring my milk my mom got out a measuring cup and poured my milk into the measuring cup and said "Why isn't this a full cup" and I replied saying "Because I don't measure my milk." Then she got angry at me. There's so much I could say about her, but I'll stop. Anyways my father is always sarcastic and he doesn't realize how much it hurts me. Today I was cleaning out my bag for next school year and my dad came in and said, "Wow, you aren't even dress yet and I had to come up here to tell you how sad." Just little things like that hurt me. My little sister got mad at me last week for sitting in a certain area and she said " Why are you sitting there," and I didn't reply because I didn't want to speak to her and she then said, "Probably because you are too stupid to answer." I wanted to break down crying then and there, but I kept it in. I've limited my talking to her, because all she does is break me down. Like when there was a Proactive commercial and she said, "Ha, you need that." That hurt me because just the other my mom was telling me how I don't take care of my face and that's why I have acne. My older sister and I barely talk, because whenever I try to talk to her she's mad for what ever reason and when my parents were talking about hitting my sister she was in the corner laughing. My cat Preston is very young and I got hi,abo a year ago. I get very sad and often cry, because I've seen him turn out scared and aggressive just like me because he's been through what I have. One time he pooped in a clothes basket (It's right next to his litter box) my mom grabbed him by the neck and hit him while she smothered his face in his poop, all while yelling at him. I was going to call the Animal Protective Services, but I got too scared and I realized how lonely I would be. Please help me I'm not sure what to do anymore. Also sorry for the very long post!
reply 5 days
Error101
Error101 posted in Family Issues:
Dear Kkmr324, I hope you get to feeling better as time goes on.  It does get better but like you said you can't actually get over it.  Losing someone to cancer is awful and I have never lost a friend and I hope I never will and I am so sorry that you did, but I have lost family to cancer and it is horrible.  I hope your okay. :(
reply 7 days
Kkrmr324
Kkrmr324 posted in Family Issues:
A few months ago,my friend Kendall died of cancer. It was really hard to "get over it"; because really you dont just get over it. One thing i did was find a bunch of pictures of me and Kendall and remembered all the fun we had together. And it helped! I still miss her, but good friends and family helped with that.
reply 9 days