April 2009: Job Hunting


Get a Job!

Now’s the time to get started finding that summer job–or lay the groundwork for your own business. The job market is tight this year. But with hard work and these handy tips from Biz Kid$, you’ll be on your way to the job of your dreams, or at least one that will keep your bank account in the black.


Win an iPod Shuffle in the Biz Kid$ $uper $aver $weepstakes

April is Financial Literacy Month. Are you saving for something special? Write us with your savings goal, your plan for achieving it, and how much you’ve saved so far. One winner will be drawn at random from all the entries to win a free iPod Shuffle. Submit your entry by May 7th, 2009 to j9@bizkids.com or mail to: Biz Kid$, 4742 42nd Ave. SW #234, Seattle, WA 98116.


Have a vision–and an open mind
One of the secrets of top athletes is their ability to visualize what they’re going to do before they do it. By visualizing your future job, you’ll be able to recognize when opportunity knocks. Imagine that you’re working at the job of your dreams…

  • Where are you? In an office? A library? A park? The zoo?
  • Do you work all day, part of the day–or are you on the night shift?
  • Are you working up a sweat–or giving your brain a workout?
  • Are you part of a team or do you work solo?
  • What are you getting out of the job? Connections? Knowledge? Or just a little extra cash?

Even when you have your ideal job visualized, it’s important to keep an open mind. No job is perfect–and sometimes any job is better than no job.

Sell yourself
When you’re applying for a job, your product is you! So get to know yourself.

  • What are you good at? What are you not so good at?
  • What experience do you have–at work, at school, and just in life?
  • What are your goals?

Resumes and cover letters
Depending on what kind of job you’re applying for, you might need a resume. A resume describes your experience; a cover letter explains why you’re right for a particular job.

  • Tailor your resume: If you’re applying for a landscaping job, you probably shouldn’t put your computer skills first.
  • Your boss’s shoes: Look at every item from the perspective of your future employer. Everything should tell why you’re right for the job.
  • Dig deep: Any situation where you had responsibility or achieved something notable could be interesting to an employer–especially relevant volunteer experience.
  • Be yourself: You’re not expected to have a long career history. Just put your best foot forward!

Click here for a great article on how to write your first resume.
Don’t be shy
Searching the want ads can help you get a job, but more people get their jobs through their personal contacts. Tell everyone you know–family, friends, teachers, classmates, anyone–that you’re looking for work and what kind of work you want. Chances are, you’ll find some great leads that way. And a personal introduction is much more powerful than any resume or cover letter.
Working for free can give the best payoff
If you don’t have any experience, you’re not likely to land a job as a video game designer or an architect. But lots of businesses and other organizations offer internships and volunteer opportunities where, instead of money, you get real-world experience in a field of interest to you. You might not get paid much (or at all) but you might get a leg up on the career of your dreams.
Click here for a fantastic article on internships with links to online resources.


Biz Kid of the Month: Dillon Emry

Dillon got his job just by hanging around–along with a lot of hard work!
What do you do?
I work at a café in Seattle.
How did you get the job?
My mom started a business nearby when I was in fifth grade. I used to get her sandwiches there in the summer. Then I started hanging out there every day after school. I became friends with the owner.
What were your first duties?
First it was taking out trash. As I got older, she would pay me to clean the three waffle irons. You set them at a high temperature to burn the sugar off, then season them with lard. It’s a dirty job. After a few months, she hired me full-time.


And you worked your way up?
Yes, now I do everything. Although I had to wait until I was 15 to make sandwiches–that’s the age at which you can get a food handler’s permit.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
The people in my community are great, and a lot of them come in several times a week. I’m making a lot of good connections for the future and it’s a lot of fun.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m going to get a degree in business. I’m thinking about going into sports agencyAfter working at a café for so long, I’m looking forward to working in an office!

Ask John Paul
Q: What are my alternatives to getting a job?
A: A job can feel more secure than other options, but is it? In December, roughly 15 people per minute lost their jobs. Working for yourself is a great alternative for kids. Nobody can fire you, and you have more control over how the business is run. And don’t forget that your money can work for you! Instead of spending every penny on summer fun, sock some away for a rainy day. Make sure you get a good interest rate on your savings account and explore other savings options like Certificates of Deposit.

John Paul Pigéon is a 12-year-old financial guru from Fort Worth, Texas who helps kids learn about money and business. Visit his Web site at http://www.johnpaulpigeon.com. Send your question to askjohnpaul@bizkids.com. It may be selected for our next newsletter!

Posted in Biz Kid$ News