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Beyond Babysitting: Super Summer Jobs For Teens

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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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