This is an online resource for the book
The Teenager's Guide to the Real World
by Marshall Brain, ISBN 1-9657430-3-9. The online resources
are offered as a free supplement to the book. They help you access the
huge library of material for teenager's available on the Web. For more
information on the book please click here.
Information about Summer Jobs
Let's say that you are a teenager, either in high school or college,
and you are sitting around thinking,
"It sure would be nice to have a job this summer..."
You have a lot of options. In fact, you have a "bewildering array of options." You
can work in restaurants, small businesses, retail stores,
amusement parks, summer camps and so on. There is a job
out there to fit almost any personality.
The important thing to recognize is that you do have options.
In recognizing them you gain the ability to explore your options. Here are a
variety of things to think about during your exploration:
You can also hunt for opportunities on the web.
Go to the directory of online resources and
read other articles there on job skills, career options and so on.
Use keywords like "summer jobs" and "summer
intern" in the big search engines
and see what you find.
- You can do the normal thing--you can go apply for a job
at the local fast food restaurant. This may not be
a bad thing to do, depending on your attitude going into the job. If your attitude
is, "I hate this job," then obviously you will get nothing out of it. If, on the other
hand, you look at it as an opportunity to learn how a business works from the inside out,
then you can get a lot out of it. Many of the millionaires in this country are owners
of franchise and private restaurants (for a GREAT book on the topic, see the book
Dave's Way by Dave Thomas (founder of Wendy's)
and other books on the books page). Owning a restaurant
is not an easy business and requires
quite a bit of knowledge and skill to be successful. Start gathering the knowledge
and skill with your summer job. Try as many positions as possible and ask lots of
questions about cash flow, staffing, inventory, etc.
Keep in mind that there are lots of different
kinds of restaurants: fast food, family dining, elegant dining, etc. They pay differently
and appeal to different people. Look around at the options before making up your mind.
- You can work at a place like a amusement park that hires
a zillion people in the summer. Again, attitude will control what you learn. You can learn
an incredible amount about business and human nature in a job like this.
- You can work at a summer camp, resort, or vacation spot that hires lots of
people in the summer. Ditto on the attitude. The advantage here is that you
might have the chance to travel.
- You can volunteer at any number of places: hospitals, shelters, clinics,
summer youth programs, etc. You won't make any money, but the experience can
- You can get an entry-level job with a small business and learn the business.
Options are endless. Just open the business section of the
phone book or drive around and see what is out
there. Drive through small industrial and office centers and knock on doors. It will
be helpful if you have a skill the business can use such as typing, computer skills,
etc., but that is not necessarily a requirement. Again, make learning the key.
What you are looking for is a small business that is interested in hiring
an eager "gofer-type" employee and then showing you how the business works. Take what
you can get and learn, learn, learn.
- You can enter a summer educational program. Many colleges and community colleges
run summer classes. Go take some. Many also run summer programs for high school students
either sponsored by a large company or a federal agency like the NSF, or run by the college
to attract promising students. Write around (or talk to your guidance counselor at school)
and see what is out there. If nothing else you could join a "continuing education
program" at a college or university and get a jump-start on college.
- You can look for summer intern programs at local companies.
- You can call your local or state government and see what you can find. Many states and
municipalities offer summer job programs.
- You can get a job anywhere and then spend the money to do something you really
enjoy. For example, work at night and take pilot lessons during the day. Or work
at night and explore a hobby or sport during the day.
- You can work for yourself. Create a summer job mowing lawns, taking care of kids,
painting houses or whatever.
- You can think about "what you would really like to do if you could do anything..." Really
dream. You might like to work in a movie studio, or in a certain type of lab or
business, or in a political office. Or you might have a sport that you really enjoy
(skiing, hiking, swimming).
Go out and see if you can find a job in this area. You might be surprised where your
dreams can take you.
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