It's summer! I enjoy having my children home, but when they become teenagers, summer time equals money making time for them. They use this money to fill up their savings accounts and pay for extra curriculars throughout the school year. But more than that, I feel it's also vital for them to learn marketable skills that will one day be worth more than minimum wage and to experiment with different professions.
Today I'm going to share how we found my two teenagers jobs this summer without looking at a single "Wanted" ad or doing internet searches. These jobs are teaching them valuable skills-- with no burger flipping involved!
First, I need to admit that none of these are entrepreneurial. We've done this in the past, and my 14 year old is doing yard work for others here and there, but with kids, having their own business means that they often need a lot of guidance and teaching--something that my time just does not permit right now.
For my 17 year old daughter and 16 year old son, we did the following-- and I'm thrilled with the results. My daughter is really, really happy and my son, though he's not jumping up and down, is really glad to have a way to earn money (especially since he didn't have any idea of what he wanted to do this summer).
1. Have a Plan
Be practical: know your kids and have goals that you decide on together.
My daughter loves to write and create. Sadly, not very many novelists make a full time living, especially at first. So we looked at fields where writing could make her a living: copy writing, marketing, journalism, technical writing, ect.
My son does not know what he wants to focus on, and he is not office oriented, so we are looking at having him learn practical skills that will help him as an adult, that will also be good training in the trades: welding, construction, plumbing, electrical, excavating, etc. We figure that even if he wants to go a completely different direction, that learning these skills will be invaluable when he is an adult and has a project that needs to be done. They can also get him a better paying job as he works himself through college.
2. Ask Around
My husband and I went to a computer training class, and met some women who not only work for the local newspaper, but who also do digital marketing: social media, copy writing, marketing, and video. (They were at the class to drum up some business.)
We asked if they had ever considered taking on an intern. They shrugged their shoulders, said they would think about it and to have our daughter email them. Long story short: she has a PAID journalism/marketing and advertising internship where she is on the front lines of learning all of these valuable skills. (This will also look fantastic on her college applications!) She gets real life experience, so she doesn't have to waste valuable time or money in college taking classes to see if she is interested (or not!) in these things.
For my son, we had him approach people in our community who own their own business and ask them if they needed any cheap, summer labor. Hourly wages in the trades are pretty high where we live, so if he just makes minimum wage, these business owners are saving a bundle.
A small business welder he approached said, "No openings right now." Two days later, the business owner called back because he had someone quit. Our son is getting exposure to welding, is getting paid to learn, is being mentored by a good man in our church and is good and tired at the end of the day = WINNING!
3. Revisit the Big Picture
Even if our kids don't like their summer job, it is a success!
What do you think?
Hi, I'm Jen! I adore chocolate, I'd rather read than clean my house, and I haven't seen my abs in I-don't-know-how-long. But I love my husband and kids to death and try to Raise The Good within myself and my family by making wise and uplifting media choices and having a deliberate family culture. You are probably doing the same thing. Let's share what works with each other!
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