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What is a good starting job?

I am currently 15 years old, in 10th grade. I am about to take my learners later this summer. I think it would be good to make some money without worrying about school. Like a summer job.

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Elizabeth’s Answer

Hi Covon!

My first job when I was about your age was as a lifeguard. Your local YMCA or community center likely holds certification courses, or you can see if the American Red Cross is offering them near you. I know the situation with COVID-19 may impact public pool openings but figured I'd suggest this anyway. Being a lifeguard taught me about responsibility and caring about other's safety, and also practical skills like first aid and CPR. Lifeguards also have some pretty cool workplace options. I worked at a water park, the next summer I worked at a summer camp, and the next summer a different camp where I stayed at the camp all summer and met tons of new people and had a blast.

I think it also helped me later in life. I became a swim instructor and learned a lot about communicating with all sorts of people. I was able to work with kids, adults, and even babies. Even though my career is in technical writing, my years of lifeguarding taught me a lot and always seemed to impress employers for internships and things like that. It also is typically slightly better pay than being a cashier or waiter.

I hope that helps! Good luck with your summer job hunting!

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Martyn’s Answer

Hi Covon!

It's great that you're looking to earn some money when you have the time.

Finding your first job isn't always that easy, but that doesn't mean it's impossible! Since most places (at least near me) require you apply online with a resume I would suggest talking to your teachers at school about creating a resume you can use to send in to any job openings you can find.

Please be aware that just submitting an application isn't where the journey ends though, don't forget to follow up! I applied to a few grocery stores during high school and typically 2-4 days after applying I'd go there in person looking to talk to a manager about the opening.

If that doesn't work out there's always volunteer work you can find and volunteering can look great on a resume! Personally, I volunteered at a vet close by because I wanted to help out and because my original major was going to be veterinary medicine. I got to be directly involved with the field I was thinking about a career in. It was a great experience and was worth every moment of my time, even if I wasn't being paid.

I wish you all the best in your search!

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Jimmy’s Answer

It depends on what you are interested in! Start by thinking about things you like. Do you want to work outside or in an office? Do you want to interact with people or prefer working alone? Do you want to work during the day or in the evening/weekends? Make a list of things that would be important to you in a job and ask friends/family/teachers/etc. what jobs there are with those traits.

In high school, I worked as a busboy and took out the trash at a local restaurant, and I eventually became a server there in a couple years! In the summer, I worked as a bag boy in a golf shop, and I loved working outside and being active.

Hope this helps!

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