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Family Forum: Summer Jobs for Teens

It's that time of year again!

Ah, summer.  It'll be here in no time and after the winter we had, that's a good thing. But all that down time for teens may not be a good thing.

Between having plenty of time and never having enough cash ("Ma, I need $20!"), a part-time job for most teenagers is a perfect solution.  It's a good way to help instill self-discipline and a work ethic in our kids, having to get to a job at a certain time, dressed a certain way and meet certain responsibilities on the job. 

However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the upcoming summer jobs forecast for teens isn't great.  In fact, it's expected to be no better than last summer, which was the worst year on record for teen employment.  So if your teen needs to earn some money, now is the time to start searching.

Some teen jobs can be found through word of mouth and require no work papers, such as babysitting, dog walking or yard work.  Other jobs require a minimum age of 14 with work papers signed by a parent.  

One of the easiest way to track down a part-time summer job is to just keep your eyes open at local businesses for "help wanted" signs.  Ice cream shops, bagel stores, florists, pet stores, pizza places, drug stores, bakeries and grocery stores all routinely hire teenagers on a short-term basis.  Some could offer continuing hours after school.

According to Snagajob.com, Boston Market, Marshall's and Sears all have current openings in New Hyde Park. Also think of movie theaters, bowling alleys, veterinary offices and fast food places. The Town of North Hempstead has an employment link on its website where they now have posted lifeguard jobs.

Other sources include local bulletin boards, Craigslist or the school guidance department. Maybe your teen could advertise for help cleaning out the garage or basement or for reading to/with younger kids or taking them to the park.  It doesn't hurt to mention to friends, relatives and neighbors that your teen is looking for part-time work. My friend's son helped a neighbor take down an old fence last summer and this year that same neighbor wants the boy to help plant some shrubs and scrub outdoor furniture.  

Keeping teens busy while earning a few dollars -- good for the whole family.

Cindy Springsteen April 27, 2011 at 05:36 PM
No Adina, it is not hard at all. I have arranged it with my local post office, packages are picked up at my door daily, don't even have to leave the house for anything. I even print the postage from my home computer. I have been doing this over 5 years now I would be happy to help anyone looking to get started. My kids made some good money last summer.
Adina Genn April 27, 2011 at 05:39 PM
That is great to know! I'll bet a lot of new businesses will be born this summer...
Alexandra Zendrian April 27, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Those are good tips. Thanks Cindy.
Safia Sattaur April 27, 2011 at 10:33 PM
While finding a job may be difficult, not only for teens but for everyone these days, a good alternative for teenagers is to volunteer their time to either a local charity, church, boys & girls club, animal shelter or even a hospital. They may or may not get paid for their efforts, but it will also help them build that sense of responsibility and ownership while gaining valuable work experience and giving something good back to the community in return.
Alexandra Zendrian April 27, 2011 at 10:40 PM
That's a very good point, Safia. Thank you.

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