Earning Money

and how to navigate finding work

 Anytime the topic of making money comes up, many people my age express a similar sentiment: "Well, I would love to work but I just don't have the time.” While I can't speak on behalf of the people whose family responsibilities, extracurricular activities, or outside-of-school learning actually take up all of their free time, some teens do have the time to work. It sounds scary, committing yourself to do something that likely isn't fun for hours over the weekend or after school, but being able to earn money is such a rewarding thing. The other comment I often get is "I just have no clue how I would even get a job.” Here's the thing, it doesn't have to be complicated, and that's why I'm here: to show you the simple steps that will get you where you want to be.

There are two main categories of jobs that teens can get: formal employment and informal self-employment. 

Formal Employment

Formal employment refers to all jobs where you have to apply and you have a boss and employer, and you are scheduled to work, rather than just working when you feel like it. A couple of examples of formal employment jobs are washing dishes, waiting tables, bagging groceries, lifeguarding, and working as a barista. There are so many more as well. I would argue that these types of jobs are easier to get than informal self-employment jobs, although they definitely take more work upfront. The good part is that once you apply and get a job, you never have to search for new clients and most of the time there is a guarantee of job security for a while. Formal employment is best for people 14+, although some places will only hire at 16+. 

Informal Self-Employment 

Informal self-employment refers to doing smaller jobs for different people. There is usually no application, it is simply about getting yourself out there. In this category are jobs like babysitting, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, tutoring, and pet sitting. While the less formal aspect of these jobs is pretty appealing, actually finding clients can be pretty nerve-wracking. While you will have to keep working to find jobs, there is often a lot more flexibility in these smaller informal jobs.

The best thing about informal self employment is that you can do it at any age!

Explore my pages on finding each form of employment to see step by step guides on how to find and get the right job for you.

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Julia Barrow
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