Summer Teen Employment
3 mins read

Summer Teen Employment

Taking a summer job is nearly a teen rite of passage. Whether it’s flipping burgers or mowing lawns, many teens enjoy using their time off of school to pad their pockets and build some real-world work experience. While teen summer jobs are still obtainable, they may not be as readily available to today’s teens as they were in decades past, making acquiring one of these sought-after summer positions a bit more of a challenge.


Getting a summer job is a task that is increasingly difficult. As the Wall Street Journal reports, today’s teens face much more of a challenge when they attempt to procure employment of this type. In 2010, only 28.5 percent of all job seekers between the ages of 16 and 19 were successful in their job procurement attempts. This is a major drop from a decade prior, as in 2000, 45 percent of summer job seekers in this age group successfully achieved employment.

Benefits of Food Service Work

Some teens struggle to locate work because they deem work in the food service industry as below them. There are, in fact, many things that teens can learn by spending a summer flipping burgers. Jobs of this type teach teens lessons in customer service as well as how to work as part of a team to accomplish a unified goal.

Service Work Options

One industry that continues to offer a healthy assortment of jobs to teens is the service industry. Whether teens elect to work in an organized service industry job, such as painting houses for a company, or to tackle their service work independently, by starting a lawn-mowing business or the like, teens can put some cash in their pockets by completing tasks for others. Service work may be particularly tempting to teens who are unable to find a job, as they can perform many service jobs independently for friends and neighbors.

Increasing Employeability

If your teen is in desperate need of summer employment, there are some things that she can do to increase her employability. First and foremost, your teen should try to provide as flexible a schedule as possible to potential employers. While she may be eager to spend her weekends out with friends or her evenings with her boyfriend, limiting weekend and night availability is a sure-fire way to miss out on that job opportunity. Also, when she goes to inquire about jobs, she should do so in a professional manner, not stopping to ask for an application in cut-offs and a tank top, but instead looking like an employable youth from the moment she walks in the door.

Alternate Option

If a summer job isn’t as much about earning some pocket cash as it is about gaining work experience for your teen, it may be advantageous to explore other options. Even if the tight job market leaves your teen unemployed this summer, he can still gain experience similar to what he would gain in the workplace by engaging in volunteer work. Encourage your teen to head out and volunteer at a local organization where his youthful exuberance can be of use. Not only will this result in him doing something good this summer, it will also leave him more experienced and ready to tackle the world of work later in life.

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