While there are plenty of Jobs out there for older teens – what can younger teenagers actually do?
When you ask people what their first job was, they usually find it pretty easy to recall. Everything from working in shops and supermarket to waiting tables in cafes and paper rounds. Most people you ask will have been quite young when they started work too – maybe 13 or 14 as often families needed the extra money.
Nowadays it has become increasingly more difficult for younger teenagers to find jobs. While it’s easy to argue that this is for the better – we shouldn’t be forcing children to grow up too quickly, nor should we be letting a job be a priority over school work – if a younger teen wants to work then it should be encouraged.
It teaches many things including time management, responsibility and having their own money is great way to start teaching them about personal finance.
Most big companies won’t employ anyone under the age of 16. Under 16s are entitled to more breaks, shorter working hours and need permission to be working from their parents, their school and their local council. While I full understand why this is necessary I can also understand why most companies wouldn’t want to go through the rigmarole when they could just employ someone over 16. I worked at a pub with a few 15 year old waitresses when these new rules came in and it was nightmare getting everything sorted. The council were also very hot on checking up on all the correct permissions were in place.
I think after that they resolved not to employ anyone else under 16 again!
So, what can under 16s actually do?
Well there may be some bigger places that are willing to take on under 16s, so it’s always worth a try asking – they can only say no. Below are a list of suggestions for under 16s as an alternative to traditional shop/cafe type jobs.
1. Sticking Up
This was the first thing that came to mind as it’s something my younger brother has recently started doing, aged 14. If you have no idea what it is then let me explain. Skittles is a bit like 10 pin bowling and is a popular activity, especially in the winter. As the Pins are not automated a ‘Sticker’ or ‘Sticker up’ is required to put all the pins back up after they have been knocked down – a job usually given to young lads and lasses that are related to members of the team. The pay isn’t bad – my brother currently gets £21 per night, plus they buy his drinks and he gets a meal at the end of the night. His team are particularly generous though and rates are normally closer to £15-£17 per night. This doubles though, if the other teams sticker can’t make it and they are left to do all the work on their own.
The only downside we have found is that as skittles starts late quite late in the evening, it also finishes late. My brother usually gets home around midnight which is quite late for a school night, however as it’s only once a week and it’s not been affecting him getting up in the morning my parents don’t currently feel that it is an issue.
Ok, so you’ve probably already thought of this one but babysitting can be a great way for under 16s to earn money – although I think serious consideration should be given to the individual teen in question and whether they are mature and responsible enough to be looking after someone else’s children.
It’s also best if the children they are looking after are nearby, such as a neighbors, so you as a parent are able to run in and help should anything go wrong or if they need any help.
3. Doing Chores
I know some parents are completely against paying their children to do chores as they feel they are something children should have to do as part of growing up and learning to be responsible. However, I do think it’s a great way to encourage children to be even more helpful and if they go they go out of their way to do extra or particularly nasty chores it’s nice to reward them for it.
Teens could also be encouraged to do chores for other family members, in particular grandparents who could probably use the help and would enjoy the company.
4. Selling their Stuff on Facebook
Encouraging teens to sell their stuff to make some cash is a great way to get them to appreciate the value of items and how much they cost. Facebook Market Place is a great place to start as most teens will already have a Facebook account and there are no fees to worry about. Make sure they understand the importance of staying safe when arranging for items to be collected and/or delivered.
5. Dog walking
If you have a family pet already and your under 16 is familiar and comfortable around dogs then offering to do some dog walking for friends and family could be a great way for them to earn some extra cash. Don’t let them forget poo bags or the money they are making could end up going towards a fine!
When I was 13 I actually worked in dog kennels, walking dogs and clearing up poop on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. They pay was rubbish, even for 17 years ago but I enjoyed it and sort of looked on it more like work experience.