Make us your home page
Instagram

Persistence will pay off for summer-job-seeking teens

If your teen is lucky enough to be spending the summer sitting in a lifeguard stand or filling orders at the local coffee shop, take a moment to congratulate the resourcefulness it took. But what can teens do, now that we're already into July, if they haven't found a job yet despite pounding the pavement and going through the family's Rolodex?

New direction

It might be time for a new approach so they can still do something worthwhile with their remaining time off from school. It could be launching their own moneymaking enterprise. Or volunteering. Or maybe even working their way through the great works of literature at the library.

Some high school kids in her neighborhood who couldn't find regular jobs started a power-washing business, said Sarah Gish, publisher of The Summer Book: A Guide to Houston Day Camps and Classes for Kids and Teens. They've got a washer, and they're advertising they can power-wash driveways and houses, she said.

Gish recommended that teens looking for work design a flier with bullet points highlighting tasks they can take on such as dog washing, car washing or lawn mowing. They also can offer to water plants and trees — which could be an especially valuable service amid the drought.

Gish encourages teens not to give up searching for paid work. And that includes her own 16-year-old son, Alex Buchanan. He's working this month — shuttling among jobs at several summer camps — but that ends soon and he'll need another gig in July.

Checking back

Buchanan recently applied at a movie theater; he also plans to go back to the grocery stores and restaurants where he submitted applications previously to ask if anything has opened up.

"I'm feeling pressure from my parents to get a job," Buchanan said.

It's really important for teens to learn to be assertive about going back to the places where they've already applied, Gish said. Grocery stores, for example, may have an opening one day and nothing the next.

Be friendly and outgoing, she said. And go directly to the manager to introduce yourself and say you're looking for a job. That way you have a connection with a decisionmaker.

In the meantime, teens can consider volunteering. Churches often have opportunities, said Gish, who suggested that teens talk to youth ministers to see what's available. Gish said many church-run soup kitchens welcome the youthful help.

Public libraries also use volunteers, she added.

Lack of stimulus funds

Another hurdle facing teenagers this year is that the federal jobs program, which was funded with stimulus funds in 2009 and 2010, has no money this summer.

Low-income teens, who have relied on that program for summer employment, are competing with adults for jobs, said Sharon Malveaux of Workforce Solutions in Houston.

She recommended that teens use online job search engines such as snagajob.com and indeed.com that focus on youth hiring.

And don't forget: Finding a job during one of the toughest summers in decades might even be a good topic for a college essay.

Persistence will pay off for summer-job-seeking teens 07/05/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Houston Chronicle.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]