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5 Tips for getting your teen a summer job

advice for young job seekers

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that this summer's teen employment will match a 57-year low set in 2004 and 2005. Andrew Sum, director of the center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, predicts teens will not find it easy to get summer employment, based on analysis of federal data released in early May.

So, how can teens beat the statistics and get a great summer job? Lori Mackey, "The Suze Orman for Kids," has the answers.

5 ways to get a summer job

Network your neighborhood

Does Mr Jones across the street hate mowing his lawn? Does Ms Carter, two blocks over, with the recent hip replacement, need her dogs walked? And what about that cute little boy who needs a babysitter while mom gets stuff done around the house?

"If there are young kids in your neighborhood, there will always be plenty of parents that could use your help in the summer entertaining their children," says Mackey. "And children feel good helping their neighbors. There is a comfort level of trust for both parties, and it instills an important sense of community in your children."

Get "free-ployed

Can't find employment at a place you'd love to work? Be happy to work for free. Ask if you can hang around and make yourself useful at a place you'd dream of working -- it has to be a place where you'd almost pay them to let you be there (just don't tell them that). You can let them know up front that you will need to go and get a paying job before the summer ends. There's an excellent chance that your passion for being in that environment will then get you hired, especially if you do your best while "free-ployed."

"Your work ethic will play a huge part in your success or failure whether you're working for free or for money. Giving 100% all of the time will pay off in all you do throughout your life," says Mackey.

List your top ten talents

With someone who knows you well -- your mom or dad or best friends -- make a list of the things you are best at, and then determine how that could translate into a income-generating activities this summer. "If you are into a sport, you can train younger kids in the basics of that sport. If you enjoy and excel in school, you can become a tutor to younger kids. If you like music, videos, or books, apply for work at a Barnes & Noble or Borders."

Says Mackey, "There is always a place where your talents and interests will be welcome, if you just keep brainstorming and looking around."

Work from home

Take advantage of your time at home. Good old mom and dad might be willing to pay you to help them with their responsibilities, and it might be more fun than you think.

"My kids love being outside, so I will sometimes pay them for gardening and watering and they love that," he says. "And if you happen to have a kid who's neat and organized and likes things in their place, most parents are never short of drawers, kitchen cabinets and closets that need organizing!"

Work more than one job and find out what you love & hate

Who says you have to concentrate on only one job this summer? Don't be afraid to try your hand at a few different part-time jobs, there will be more openings for part-time opportunityand you'll have a great chance to discover things you like and dislike all in a summer.

"Every successful person can run off a list of jobs they hated, so if a yucky job happens to you this summer, just know that it's all part of finding that perfect dream job one day," says Mackey.

related video

Job Interview Preparation for Teenagers

Prepare your teens for a job interview. Have them watch this humorous video role play of what NOT to do on their first interview.

For more information on how to help your teenagers:

Summer camp jobs for teens
Teen behavior explained: 13 is the new 18
Is Facebook safe? Safety tips for teens

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