Some teens looking for work during the summer may believe that social media and “side hustles”, or earning money through side jobs, are their only options.
According to Ed Grocholski of Junior Achievement USA (an organization which helps prepare young people for a successful career), many young people would rather start their own business.
You can easily see the excitement of teens. It’s easy to see why teens are excited. Social media influencers seem to be making money off their hobbies and images, while side hustle culture is making it easier than ever before to sell and market a service or product. Teens may not be aware that it takes time for early entrepreneurial ventures to gain traction. They don’t pay well.
Traditional jobs can be beneficial for teens who want to become their own bosses, whether online or offline. These are some of the options available to teens who want to work and learn.
Positive attitude leads to earning and learning
The restaurants remain the quintessential employers of students during their break.
According to Michelle Korsmo of the National Restaurant Association, “we have over 1.9 millions teens working in our restaurants.”
She says it’s a great place for training young people. Employees who are willing to take on challenges will find them in everything from food safety to customer service, problem solving to time management.
Korsmo believes that an opportunity or need may arise very quickly. It could be as simple as moving from host or server to chef or cleaner to fill a vacancy, or even volunteering to clean up the trash on your parking lot when no one else is willing to.
She says, “Say yes, have a positive attitude and be open to learning.” It doesn’t really take long for you to gain more responsibilities, and the ability to earn more money .”
This kind of attitude can be the difference in success or failure when a teen is later trying to create a following via social media , start a company .
When you lean on someone else, it takes pressure off you
A side gig can bring together people, but businesses like local pools, car washes, and grocery stores that employ teens, do the opposite.
Dan Horan is the manager of a Wegmans store in Pittsford (New York). The young workers who work with him are able to grasp the size of his operation.
He says that it takes about 650 people every day to build this building. There’s lots of teamwork in our work.
Horan says that the staff at this store is a supportive system where workers depend on each other and feel comfortable asking for assistance.
He says, “We are here to help with whatever people need inside or outside the workplace.” It’s a good place to be .”
Business and social interaction are good for each other
Communication in the workplace will be an organic and essential experience for young workers.
Grocholski believes that the in-person interactions are more crucial since the outbreak. Being in a group environment, with people and working together, builds a skill set which is often overlooked by young people.
Aagna, now in college in Texas and a former Junior Achievement participant, worked as an intern in accounting at a Houston manufacturing company the summer following her high school graduation. It was an opportunity for her to benefit from the experience of others.
Patel’s co-workers range in age between 30 and 60. She says that you can learn from everyone around you.
Your communication skills will be useful to future clients.
Patel says that you need to learn to be approachable and a good people person. I think it’s important to be approachable as an entrepreneur, because you don’t know when an opportunity will arise .”
Working hard pays off literally
Teenagers can experience freedom when they receive a regular paycheque. If you start your career with something less stable, it may take longer to get the money.
Patel said her first pay cheque sparked gratitude. It really makes you realize that the people who provide for you, whether it’s your parents or someone else, have worked hard to get you all the money you have.
Horan believes that teens are learning to find a balance between time and money. We have many kids who want to work more and earn more because they are saving up for a goal that is important to them .”
Encourage your teen to explore the possibility of a credit or debit card and open a bank account. Never too young to start “the conversation” about how you should spend less than your income and avoid costly interest on credit cards. Parents can teach their teens this lesson, and reassure them that just because they have a summer job doesn’t mean later on in life they won’t be able to monetize a hobby.