It used to be all but mandatory for teens to get a part-time job while they were in high school or college, but today, thanks largely to the rise of internships and helicopter parenting, it’s more optional. But that doesn’t make it any less important. A bona fide side hustle can not only enable teens to make that sorely needed spending money, it allows them to save for crucial musts like college tuition and build skills and relationships that they can use to beef up their resume.
Additionally, rocking a part-time gig is educational. Kids can get a firsthand glimpse at how taxes work and what personal finance management means on a day-to-day level. The money also helps — purchasing clothes, games, Starbucks and more on their own is a great way to inform teens on how much the life they enjoy actually costs.
“This is a great gig because it usually entails steady hours and in turn, steady hourly pay,” said Vicki Salemi, Monster career expert. “You can develop skills, people skills [and] attention to detail as well as how to prepare beverages which can create the foundation to return to this gig later on such as in college and beyond.”
“This side gig can be particularly fun if you’ve been a camper previously and now you’re getting paid to have fun at camp and lead activities,” Salemi said. “It’s a great side hustle for teens who are interested in working with groups of kids and have a passion for whatever activities you’re doing. Plus, there are a variety of camps like sports camps, academic camps, wilderness camps and more.”
“Since this isn’t specific to an industry, there are typically a variety of cashier roles available after school and on weekends for teens from grocery stores to hardware stores to retail,” Salemi said. “It’s a great side hustle because it’s usually consistent hours and pay. You’ll need stamina to work on your feet while you develop strong people skills and knowledge about the store you’re working in and its services/products.”
“This could be a super side hustle for someone who loves sports and is knowledgeable about the rules,” Salemi said. “Becoming a junior umpire within a recreation or town league can also be another way to exercise since you typically need to be in good shape to keep up with players on the field or the court. This is also a stepping stone for a career path as a professional referee or umpire so working in this capacity can help develop valuable skills for the long term.”
Tutor Older People About Tech
“Teens have grown up with tech and so they’re much more familiar with it than the older generations,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com. “If they have a lot of patience, they can take it upon themselves to teach older people how to use different technologies. This may be as simple as how to FaceTime someone or how to handle email, but could extend to more complicated topics as well, like PC gaming.”
“Take guests’ orders, answer menu questions, prepare food, stock and store food items, clean and more,” Salemi said. “This could be a great stepping stone into the food industry as well as developing customer service skills and soft skills like developing a strong work ethic, arriving to work on time and having a positive attitude.”
“Part-time roles at a catering hall can be particularly fun with a variety of responsibilities from preparing food to delivering it to serving it,” Salemi said. “Requirements are a passion for food as well as being organized and detail-oriented. Once you connect with a local catering hall for a banquet role, your weekends (and some evenings) may be booked with consistent work.”
“Whether it’s cutting grass, washing cars, raking leaves, shoveling snow or even helping to garden, these are all great options for teens because they can typically be done on their own time,” Ramhold said. “With the exception of snow shoveling, most of these are probably tasks that can wait until a weekend, for instance. And even snow shoveling may be able to wait, or they can do it early in the morning before school if they’re able.”
Get Crafty — Possibly in the Kitchen
“If there’s a hobby they’re into, whether that’s art, crafts or even cooking, there’s a good chance they can turn it into a side gig,” said Ramhold. “It’s important to note that if it’s producing food, you’ll need to pursue the appropriate licensing so be prepared to look into cottage food laws in your state. These are generally good for teens because they can go at their own pace; for instance, they can make art or craft something and then list it online to sell it. If they’re cooking something, they can take preorders for a certain amount of time or amount of product in order to handle only what they can and not overextend themselves.”
On-Demand Delivery Driver
“Yes, there’s an app for that and whether you’re delivering coffee or pizza or anything in between, delivery drivers are definitely needed,” Salemi said. “You’ll simply need a driver’s license and a good driving record, but the main reason why this is a great gig for teens is that it’s flexible. If you’re studying for the SATs, you may not have as much time to work and that’s okay; since it’s flexible, you can ramp up your hours when you have more time to work.”
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