Once you turn 16, you’re generally able to start working in the United States. On my 16th birthday, I went down to a local restaurant and applied to be a waitress, which turned into my first job. I learned a lot and wanted to pass along some of my wisdom, and ideas on how to make some extra cash as a teenager.
You need to be dependable to keep a job. If you show up late, or call out sick all the time, you’ll probably be the first one they think of letting go when times get tough. Dependability is a trait that will last a long time, so start practicing now.
Value of a Dollar
Most teenagers don’t understand the value of a dollar until they work for it themselves. When you work hard and earn your own money, you’ll value it so much more because you know how hard it was to make it. If you get into a habit of saving a portion of your earnings every paycheck, you will be able to buy bigger and better things in the future!
Almost all entry level jobs have some form of customer communication, so get this under your belt now, its invaluable information. Working with the public can be tough. If you can learn how to be polite even when someone isn’t polite to you, you’ll build that ‘thick skin’ everyone seems to talk about and that tough shell will come in handy throughout your professional career, no matter what you choose to do. You don’t always have to have a regular job to earn money. Here’s a bunch of ideas of how to earn some cash to get you started:
8 Ideas for Extra Cash
1. Yard work: Help your neighbors shovel their driveway or rake their leaves, and get in shape while you do it!
2. Paper route: You can start young. I had one at age 13 and made $50 a week. That was big money back then!
3. Babysitting: This is great experience for when you’ll have your own kids, and you get to watch TV and eat snacks.
4. Sell Arts & Crafts: You can do this online on www.etsy.com or at a local tag or craft sale. Great practice at running your own business.
5. Sell Stuff for Your Parents on ebay: Let's face it. You're probably more internet saavy than your parents, and I’m sure they could use your help getting rid of some of their junk they're not using anymore. They probably won’t mind giving you a cut of the profits since you're helping clean up the house. (Please check with your parents first before you sell any of their stuff!)
6. Volunteer: You won't make any money, but volunteering is a great way to make a difference for your community. You can learn some great job skills as you go, and meet new people.
7. Tutor or Give Lessons: Do you rock at a certain subject? Does something come easy to you so that you can help others with? Use your abilities to tutor or give lessons, and you could make some extra money in the process.
8. Get a Job: If you’re of legal working age, start applying for jobs now. Employers look for people with good follow up skills, so don’t be afraid to call them back or check-in on your application if they haven’t called you. For some other ideas on how to make and save your money as a teen, check out this article.
Your first job will be a great learning experience for you. Make sure to arrive on time, and act respectful to customers. You will learn a variety of skills that will last a lifetime including customer service, dependability, and the value of a dollar. If you aren’t of legal working age yet, you can still make money doing odd jobs. There’s a variety of ways to earn, so get creative and get working. It will only benefit you in the long run. What other ideas do you have on how to make extra cash? What was your first job?