Not Your Typical Summer Job Advice for Teens

By Nadine Briggs and Donna Shea
Teens who are of working age should try to obtain paid employment if possible during the summer. Working can build self-esteem and teach teens responsibility, work ethic, tolerance, money and time management, etc.

Here are 15 tips for teens looking for summer employment:

  1. Apply for jobs that suit the way your brain works – if you have a terrible short term memory, a sub shop might not be the best fit for you. Landscaping might be an option.
  2. Be wary of jobs that have constant temptation – if you love chocolate and could literally eat it all day every day, a candy store might not be the best choice. Maybe a clothing store would be less tempting.
  3. Consider how much movement you need – if you need frequent movement breaks during the school year, watch out of jobs where you sit all day such as a receptionist.
  4. Check feasibility – consider your schedule and your ability to get a ride to and from your job. Make sure that your family isn’t doing a lot of trips if you’re trying to get a job.
  5. Prepare for what you might be asked in an interview – practice prior to your interview.
  6. Think of the key thing you want them to know about you – think of this ahead of time so you don’t have to come up with it at the moment the question is asked.
  7. Things NOT to ask about– money or time off.
  8. Dress for success – even if you’re overdressed, that’s okay.
  9. Filter your thoughts – this can be really hard, especially if you’re nervous. Take your meds if you use them before an interview.
  10. Don’t “gush” – even if you love the job or the interviewer and really want to learn from them, resist the urge to “gush” on them.
  11. Names matter – do not call the interviewer by the wrong name.
  12. Handshakes matter – strong, couple of pumps, don’t mention sweaty hands even if you have them.
  13. Don’t say anything gross – see above example about sweaty hands
  14. Be ready to work – hard. No complaining and no push back.
  15. Deal with injustices with grace – don’t be the one who loses it if things seem unfair. Calmly discuss issues when things go wrong.