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Summer job ideas to keep teens busy

This generation of teenagers (GenZ) is the least likely to have a job while in high school. As a career coach, I think this can set up kids for a difficult transition when they grow up. There is a huge difference between their experience at school with teachers and the real world and bosses.  

Lindsay Boccardo, generational consultant and millennial career coach shares her experience as a teen in the workforce and how you can help your teen find a summer job.

Summer jobs teach students the importance of responsibility, treating others with respect (especially customers who disagree with us) and the discipline it takes to do things you don’t always want to do.  

I worked at a trophy shop for my first summer job. You can only assemble so many little league trophies before you start to lose excitement. I had to learn to do the work regardless of how I felt. That mental muscle I built, that’s a gift now I use everyday at work.  

There are different ways to get experience and get paid this summer, and I know a lot of us are not even sure what this summer is going to look like so we might need to get creative.  

Here are four questions parents can ask their kids: 

1. If we were to walk through the library right now, what books would you go to first? (It tells us what they are curious about naturally.)

2. How much do you love talking to people? Do you want to find clients or work for a company that has structure and guidance for you?

3. Do you want to be outside or inside?

4. How much time do you have and what will transportation look like? 

Some creative ideas (based on their answers) for this summer: 

If you want to work outdoors, there are plenty of options from landscaping, to dog walking, and mowing yards.  

If you’re more of the indoor type, there’s tutoring opportunities online, if you’re over 16 you can teach English as a second language.  

If you want to get better at your craft and you’re the creative type, you only have to be 13 years old to start an Etsy shop! You can Freelance on Fiver as a cartoonist, a writer, graphic designer, voice over actor… the list goes on and on.  

Ultimately, growing people are happy people. We all do better when we aren’t just consuming but also creating something for ourselves.

Watching TikTok and Youtube is entertaining and passes the time, but my hope is that we want more for ourselves than just passing the time. Your teenage years are a time to try new things with almost no risk. See what you like, explore, get a taste for what’s out there!   

For more from Lindsay, visit 


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