"Is your son available to do some more yard work? My neighbor likes how my yard looks and is wondering if he could do hers?"
This makes customer number three in a time span of about a week and a half, and he's not even advertising. It is a true snowball effect in the middle of eighty degree weather.
My teen is just about to turn fifteen this summer. He's always been a hard worker doing everything from bailing hay and helping out with community events, to keeping an eye on his younger brother. Lately though, he's discovered how nice it is to earn his own money, pay his own way through night's out with friends, movies, munchies, and lucky for me, even Mother's Day.
With summer upon us, chances are your teen may be saying, "I want a job". There are a few things to consider before unleashing your guy or gal into the world of outside employment.
First of all, the legalities. According to FamilyEducation.com:
Under federal law: * Children younger than 14 are restricted to delivering newspapers, working in a non-hazardous business owned by a parent, baby-sitting or doing other minor domestic chores in a private home, or performing on stage, screen or radio. They may work only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the school year and until 9 p.m. in the summer.
* At 14 and 15, teens may work at non-hazardous jobs for three hours on school days, eight hours on non-school days, 18 hours during a school week and 40 hours during a non-school week.
* At 16 and 17, teens may perform any non-hazardous job for any number of hours.
A year ago, at what some expert's consider to be the bottom of the recession, it was nearly impossible for teens to find summer work because there were so many adults looking in the same market. But this summer, jobs seem to be more available for teens.
When looking for summer work, consider your teen's interests. Are they a mega swimmer? Check out lifeguard posts at community pools and beaches. Do they love animals? How about an internship at a veterinarian or kennel helper at the Humane Society. Are they more social? How about the movie theater, a restaurant or camp counselor?
Or, like my son, they can explore their entrepreneurial spirit by starting their own service business like lawn care, washing cars, dog walking, you name it! For safety's sake, however, it is a good idea to know who your kid is doing the work for, so family, friends and referrals are a good and safe way to find customers. If you, as parents, work during the day, a summer job can also be a great way to know your teen is still supervised, in a professional environment.
I am all for my teen working this summer, as long as he does so responsibly and the job doesn't take over his "being a kid". He still will have football conditioning, 4H and hanging out with friends and family. But he'll have a sense of accomplishment, a few more business skills and a fatter savings account before the craziness of the next school year begins.