Photo Courtesy of MCT Campus
That final bell rings on the last day of May, and I can feel the stress lifting from my always-worrying brain. It’s finally summer. It’s a break from being rudely awakened by the excruciating sound of my alarm that blares every morning at 6:46 a.m. – not 6:45, I need every minute I can get. A break from the stress that accumulates after each teacher piles on more and more projects, papers and exams. It’s the season for relaxing poolside with friends and getting some tan lines, but the responsibility we learn in school counts for something: summer jobs.
The stress-free schedule and warm weather makes summer my favorite season. But, I tend to get bored fairly quickly. Although I am more relaxed than I am during the school year, I feel guilty for failing to accomplish anything during the day, when I could be earning money. Because I am 16, I will be old enough to work at various jobs this summer.
As more and more students become eligible to work, summer jobs become a good way to spend leisure time.
Working large amounts of hours can be rewarding, but there is always the sense of missing out on the experiences that come along with summer. Also, lifeguarding typically allows employees to work part time. If your favorite part of the summer is the sunny weather and tan lines, working as a lifeguard may be a good fit.
Right now, Prairie Village Pool is full on concession operators, but they are still looking to hire lifeguards. Lifeguards are required to take a class and be certified through American Red Cross. The class currently costs $225, and can be completed at the JCCC or local YMCA. This year, Prairie Village will offer a reimbursement program for the certification costs.
After filling out an application, pool manager Joel Rios interviews those interested and decides if the applicant is a good fit for the facility.
“[Lifeguards need to] be able to make quick decisions, because they are potentially going to be providing emergency care, or emergency response or treatment,” City Administrator Assistant Noel Sunderman said.
According to Sunderman, it is beneficial to include anything that would highlight some duties that may coincide with the job. Even if you’ve never had a job before, include volunteering positions.
Junior Wil St. Clair has worked at Fairway Pool for four years. After working as a snack shop employee for two years, he started working as a lifeguard. He originally decided to get a job at the pool because he wanted extra spending money, while he also enjoyed being outdoors.
“I wanted to make money, and it’s always good to know how to do CPR,” St. Clair said.
Although staring at the pool all day can become tedious, he has learned multiple skills from being a lifeguard. He especially learned to think on his feet, because you never know what happens next.
Junior Sydney Stancer enjoys working at Johnny’s because she feels good about the products they are making, as opposed to working in a fast food restaurant, even though they pay similar amounts. Summer vacation allows Stancer to work more hours than during the school year. If you are outgoing and enjoy talking to customers, working at a restaurant may be a suitable summer job for you.
If the restaurant staff likes your application, they will call and ask if you are interested in interviewing. Manager Tiffani Grassie is typically in charge of interviewing applicants.
“I just ask them to tell me about themselves, what they’ve been involved in, what is a recent accomplishment that they’re proud of, and what they like to do in their free time,” Grassie said. “The restaurant industry is definitely a place where you can’t be shy.”
Stancer applied at the end of last summer for a hosting position and she was called back for an interview.
“It was a little nerve-racking since it was my first interview, but once I got into it they were really nice,” Stancer said.
There is no training or experience required in order to receive a hosting position, but there are ways to stand out among other applicants. It is important to seem like you are ambitious, outgoing and pleasant, according to Grassie.
“It’s not always going to be the same. Your shift is always going to be different, with different faces,” Grassie said. “It’s not going to be boring.”
Stancer received the job and plans to continue working at Johnny’s.
“The people are actually really nice there,” Stancer said. “It’s a whole family type of atmosphere and we’re all really friendly to each other.”
Yes, nannying may seem like a rather obvious option, but it can pay over twice as much as most jobs hiring high schoolers. Nannying typically doesn’t require training and is ideal for students who enjoy interacting with kids. The satisfying thing about nannying is you still get to experience the summer by going to the pool or taking the kids to Worlds of Fun, which are opportunities you can’t have during the school year. You are also able to play a part in making sure kids have the best summer possible.
Junior Mazie Brooke will nanny for Tricia Carter, a mom of a seven and nine-year-old. This is her first year hiring a nanny, so she asked her friends and posted on Facebook asking if anyone knew someone looking for a nannying job.
Brooke babysat for a friend of Carter’s, who has five children. Carter thought if Brooke could handle her five children, she would easily be able to control Carter’s two. Carter received Brooke’s contact information and invited her to come over and meet the kids.
“I wanted someone who was not going to let my kids walk all over them, because they’re going to be spending a lot of time with them,” Carter said. “While I want them to have a fun summer, I don’t want them to have too much fun. [Brooke] pretty much showed all of that right off the bat.”
This will not be Brooke’s first time working with kids. She has done a lot of babysitting, and currently works part time at the Village Presbyterian Daycare.
“Nannying pays a lot more than other jobs, and you don’t have to pay taxes,” Brooke said. “The activities we do are fun, and [nannying] is not too stressful.”
There have been multiple proven benefits to nannying so far. Brooke has learned how to negotiate wages before even starting the job, and she knows she will gain experience in taking care of kids.