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How to get your first job as a teenager

Updated: Jun 9, 2022

1. Look for a job in a convenient location for you. You'll want a job you can travel to without many complications on the days you work. If you don't have your driver's license, working at a bookstore thirty miles away from home might not be the best idea. Choose a job that you could easily walk or bike to, or ask an older relative if they could drive you.

2. Find jobs that can accommodate your schedule. Some jobs are better than others, if you're still in school. If the job requires you to work afternoons but you're in high school, you'll want to apply for other jobs. Ask your potential employer if they hire students and whether they'll be flexible with your schedule. Having a job is not worth failing school grades. Choose a job that does not exceed 15 hours a week for a balanced school schedule. Most states (and countries) have limits for how many hours teens can work a week.

3. Make use of your talents. This may be your first job search, but you can use your skills to pick up work. Maybe you're in your school band. Start offering oboe lessons, or look for a job at music stores in your area. If you have good school grades, become a tutor or apply for jobs at your local library. Take some time with your parents or a mentor to write a list of all your talents, and brainstorm ways you could translate them into job opportunities. You could also look for jobs fixing what you love. Computer geeks, for example, might look for computer repair jobs.

4. Ask around for odd jobs in your area. Jobs in your neighborhood can be convenient for your location and schedule. You could go door to door asking if your neighbors need their lawn mowed or leaves raked. Or, if you're good with kids, you could babysit for young families. To start babysitting, start by asking parents' friends or older relatives. From there, you can build up experience as a good babysitter.

5. Try a retail or food service job. Both retail and food service are excellent first job opportunities because these employers often hire teenagers. Jobs in food service are a good way to develop customer service skills and gain cooking experience. Retail jobs are great for sociability, organization, and learning to operate cash registers. Some teens enjoy waitering/waitressing jobs as a way to make more money per hour thanks to tips.

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Great explanation Dylan. I used this advice and landed my first job at Starbucks yesterday! Thanks so much and I will be recommending you to friends😀


Well done Dylan ! You are doing a great job.

Dylan Ferreira
Dylan Ferreira

Thank you!

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