With summer just a month and a half away, now’s the time to find a summer job. Working over break is the perfect time to earn money for going out with friends, buying gas or saving up for college. Finding a part-time job for two or three months can be difficult for high school students, but being creative with your search for the right job can help make the process more interesting and enjoyable.
Put Yourself Out There
How is anyone supposed to hire you if they don’t know you exist? If you aren’t actively searching for a job, you can find work by advertising around the neighborhood for a service you can offer others. You’ve seen those flyers that ask, “Do you need a guitar teacher? I can help!” or “Dog walker available.” Lots of people need babysitters, tutors and lawn mowers, so put up flyers in places they would go. Libraries or churches often allow people to put them up. Another option is to go out and meet people in your neighborhood or put flyers by their front doors to let them know that you’re looking for work. In my neighborhood, it is common for kids and teenagers to go around asking our elderly neighbors if they would like their lawns mowed or plants watered to earn extra money. Being active in your job search will let people know that you’re serious about getting it done.
Use Your Connections
One of the most helpful yet easily overlooked resources for finding a summer job is the people around you. Parents, family, friends and neighbors can all have ideas of places looking for summer employees, whether through their own connections or through their jobs. For me, it was a connection I had with a family I’d been babysitting for since I was twelve that landed me my first summer job as a nanny. It really helped to know the family before I started spending more time at their house than at my own. It made me feel more comfortable spending most of my weekdays around them. I also already knew what foods the kids didn’t like, what T.V. shows they weren’t allowed to watch, and how to effectively break up fights between them.
In general, it is easiest to find a job through people you know, but you have to let them know you’re looking for work in order to get help from others.
To be a lifeguard, for example, you have to be certified in life saving. Places like the local YMCA and the Roeland Park Community Center offer classes for usually less than a hundred dollars. The classes last all day, over several weekends, and they are often offered in the months of April and May just before summer. Friends of mine that have taken these classes agree that they make for a very long day, but some think they are harder than others. At the end of the class, you are mentally and physically tested before you receive the certificate. Getting certified makes it that much easier to find pools to apply at for lifeguarding positions for the summer.
Although they may be harder to find, there are jobs available besides lifeguarding, lawn mowing and nannying. There are less common jobs out there that you probably haven’t thought about yet. You could apply to be a hostess at a restaurant, work as a kids’ tennis coach or as a camp counselor at that camp you went to as a kid. Use any special talents you have in your work however you can. If you’re good at photography, you may consider offering to take photos for people you know for an event. If you love to knit, you could take orders for scarves and hats from people you know by advertising and using social connections. Even if you don’t have a special talent, you can probably find someone around you that needs something done. This could be as simple as house sitting or feeding the neighbor’s dog when they’re on vacation. You may not make as much money as you would with an official job, but you can definitely pick up some extra cash by doing little jobs. And either way, it’s money in your pocket.