It’s fun to sleep til noon, spend the afternoon at the pool, and then eat ice cream and play basketball until well after sunset. Being a teenager in summer can be awesome. But summer jobs are also a valuable part of those months between school years.
One consequence of communities that do not have many businesses and services is the lack of employment available. In particular, car-less teens may find it especially difficult to land summer jobs.
One way local neighbors can support youth and help them develop valuable job skills is hiring them! You may not be able to provide work for a full - or even part - time job, but you can help them earn some spending money.
And who knows? They may learn some entrepreneur skills and start offering their services to other neighbors to expand their income. Here are 9 ideas for hiring local teens this summer.
#1 - Lawn Care
This is an easy one. And it’s not uncommon to find young men knocking on doors in Atlanta, offering to mow your lawn. They may ask to borrow your mower (which means you should pay them less), but with hot days and grass that grows at the speed of light, this is the perfect job to hire out.
#2 - Maintenance Assisting
You may not want to hand over your car or your shower head to a teen who swears he knows what he’s doing. But you may want to hire her as a helper for projects around your home this summer. This arrangement makes it natural to teach a teen a new skill, get to know them better, and get some help to boot!
#3 - Laundry/Light Cleaning
Whether you send them off to the local laundrymat or have them run your washer, teens can be great at laundry tasks! Outsource your washing and folding to a local youth wanting to earn some summer spending money. You may also want to hire teens for dishes, washing yard toys, or other light cleaning tasks you need done.
#4 - Pet Care
Youth can be great at caring for pets. Need a summer dog walker? Teens can give Fido that exercise, and hey, it helps them get out and moving as well! Bathing is another great pet task to hire out to a teen. And if you have a reliable youth who can pet sit for you while on vacation, that’s a win-win!
#5 - House Sitting
You definitely need a teen you can trust as this job requires managing a house key, locking up properly, and possibly dealing with alarm codes. However, house sitting can be a perfect job to make sure your mail gets inside, your plants are watered, and that someone is checking in regularly on your house while you're away.
#6 - Airport Rides
Need a ride before you jet off for your summer vacation? Skip the fun of asking a friend to pick your family up at 5 am and hire a teen driver. The right kid will take this job so seriously, and you’re going to spend less than a taxi or Uber ride.
#7 - Car Wash
There’s no better job in summer than washing cars. Hand neighbor kids a bucket and some sponges, and pay them to wash your car the old-fashioned way. Don’t forget to have them clean out the inside and vacuum all your mats and seats!
#8 - In-Home Organizing
If there’s an area of your house you just can’t seem to manage, why not hire a youth to organize it? The right candidate could make your life so much easier. Some ideas might be organizing kids’ closets, a playroom, kitchen cabinets, or, if you’re brave, maybe even a home office.
#9 - Babysitting
This one is a typical teen job, but what if the youth in your life aren’t quite ready to take on the responsibility? One way to ease younger teens into babysitting is to have them stay at your house after the kids are in bed. Or consider having them watch the kids while you're still at home working in another room. It’s a great way to get started.
Bored teenagers are not a new phenomenon, but a summer job can be a valuable way to spend the lazy, hazy days of summer. What other creative ways have you utilized teen talent and energy? We can all learn from each other as we seek to support and develop teenagers this summer!
Image credit: UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences