If you blinked, you may have missed it. June is here! With it, the start of teenage employment season. One headline described the state of summer employment this way: “Summer jobs are plentiful for those who want to work.” So now, the question is: do you? Before you answer that, today we bring you five things to consider in your quest to trade your extra free time into some extra pocket money.
Beware of Scammers
As online job listings increasingly go online, some scammers are joining their ranks, ensnaring well-meaning teens with too-good-to-be-true offers of summer employment. Their tips: look for misspellings in the job postings, and don’t apply for a job without asking for a second glance from friends and family. And finally, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Look for Perks Beyond the Paycheck
As a teen, most jobs available to you are likely to fall into a similar range – most likely, close to minimum wage. That doesn’t mean that all minimum wage jobs are alike. Consider the extra perks and benefits of a job when applying. Perhaps it’s a lifeguard position that comes with free pool admission for your family or a restaurant that offers a free meal with every shift. If you’re able to take advantage of the freebies you’re offered, they could add significant value to your weekly paycheck.
Consider your Future Resume
If there’s one perk that can trump all others, it’s the potential value of your experience in the eyes of future employers. Consider a minimum wage job fetching coffee for newspaper reporters. On your resume, an early role in the field of journalism – no matter how small – could show dedication that a job at a mall just can’t match. If you know the industry you hope to someday work in, find a supportive role within it. It could pay off for years to come.
For top wages, look for mismatched supply & demand
This summer, cities are shuttering public beaches, pools, and parks for a simple reason: they simply can’t staff them. The good news? When demand exceeds supply, rates rise. If you’re flexible with your type of employment, look for local news stories about added perks and pay for those willing to fill desperately needed positions with public entities.
Don’t forget the entrepreneurial “opportunity cost”
Just because you can’t find a job posting that pays more than $15 per hour doesn’t mean you have to settle. As you consider summer employment, also consider the alternative: turning that entrepreneurial idea that’s been rolling around in your head into reality. Don’t get us wrong: $15 is a solid wage. But owning your own business is hard to beat.