Being a young person is tough on many levels, especially when you are old enough to do some things but prevented from others due to age. One very common complaint is not wanting to depend on the adults, parents or guardians around you for the money you want/need. In addition, what makes this even more difficult, is that younger people often cannot get a typical paying job due to their age. It must feel like being stuck between a rock and hard place: young people are constantly being told to, “Earn your own money,” but are too young to do so in many cases. So, where are you supposed to turn?
The key is remembering you are not incapable of working, but merely limited to what is allowed within the set boundaries for employment. Here are a few suggestions:
~ There are other ways to earn extra money for younger kids such as shovelling snow, yard work, raking, delivering newspapers/flyers, dog walking, animal sitting or even helping with household duties for an elderly neighbour or an injured neighbour who may be unable to do the jobs themselves. Use your imagination and creativity! There are many ways to help others and benefit from it in countless ways.
~ A great idea that may not earn money at first but can definitely help down the line is finding a mentor or volunteer position where they would be willing to teach you resourceful and needed skills. If you work hard enough, you will not only be adding to your experience, but there could be a possibility of finding solid, paying work either with the mentor or organization or through an opportunity they can recommend you to.
~ At the age of twelve, at least here in Canada, kids can take a course in babysitting and receive a certification both in caring for other children as well as in CPR. This is an excellent way to earn money, especially if you love other kids. Plus if word gets out, you could easily become the “neighbourhood babysitter.” An additional tip is knowing that babysitting on holidays or during the summer when parents still have to work can prove to be quite lucrative.
~ Here in Canada, sixteen is the legal age to be hired in certain establishments. Many large companies will take on part-time students for the evening and/or weekend shifts, which can turn into more full-time hours during holidays or breaks. Some great advice here is to try getting a position in a place that you would not only enjoy working at, but that could possibly give you some insight into the future career path you may be interested in following.
~ Remember those swimming lessons you took? Great benefits stem from those too. Taking extra courses past the required levels, such as lifesaving or lifeguarding, is a great way to get your foot in the door when local pools or public swimming areas are looking for lifeguards or swim teachers. Plus, if you love the water, what better job could there be?
~ Finding work in an area you already have extensive knowledge or experience in is a great idea too. Teaching younger piano students, passing along guitar (or another mastered instrument) skills, tutoring, etc. Tap into those skills you already have.
~ At eighteen, a youth is pretty much legally permitted to work in almost any establishment and well on the way to starting the first steps to a career. Some youth carry on their schooling to college or university so working can help offset tuition fees or pay for campus dues among other things.
In addition to the above, remember to record any position you have held, including your responsibilities and duties. These points will make up your resume/CV for getting those higher, better-paying positions in the future.
All in all, age should not stand in the way of gaining valuable experience and skills for future use as well as the opportunity to put some spending money in your pocket. Some of the most successful people in the world are where they are today by working hard, not giving up and believing in their potential.