3 Jobs Your Kids Can Do (And 4 Reasons Why They Should Work)
I remember starting my first job, at age 12, as a paper carrier. My 11-year-old brother and I shared a weekend route. It meant 6:00 a.m. wakeups every Saturday and Sunday and the responsibility of finding a replacement (aka a neighorhood kid) if we ever wanted to have a sleepover at a friend’s house. My net pay each month range from $30 - $50.
The business and financial components involved with working teach lessons to kids that even competitive sports can’t.
Tasted financial independence. My brother and I no longer relied solely on birthdays and Christmas gifts to obtain the toys we wanted. We had the power and financial independence to provide some things for yourselves. Sure, we blew plenty of money on candy and Garbage Pail Kids cards, but we also save up and bought the original Nintendo when it first came out.
Promotion is a possibility. Through our paper route we learned that the most reliable carriers were promoted to oversee hubs where multiple others came to pick up their assigned papers. I’d never realized that working hard could result in higher pay. It was painful, but valuable when another carrier got an open hub-overseer position instead of us.
We had a boss. We didn’t like our early morning wake-ups, but we got up every. single. time. Not because our parents badgered us, but because we knew that our supervisor from the paper would notice if we were late and there would be consequences.
Foster dream chasing. Instead of squealching our desire to earn some extra money, my parents allowed us to act on it. We were tweens who tangibly experienced our parents’ support to do something beyond our comfort zone. We’ve both chased many dreams since then.
If you’ve got a kid/tween/teen that wants to work, but you aren’t sure where to turn besides the mall and local restaurants you might want o consider some of these alternatives:
1.) Odd jobs. Allow an entrepreneurial child to start their own business washing cars or pets, helping elderly neighbors, doing lawn care and snow removal or any other odd job you or your neighbors may need done. They can learn about marketing and, if they make enough money, they can learn about paying taxes.
2.) Fiverr.com. Fiverr.com is an online marketplace where people sell goods or services that cost $5 each. If your child can complete a marketable task – like graphic design, proofreading, or social media functions – in 20 minutes or less, that’s like $15/hour.
3.) Arbitrage. Arbitrage is a fancy word that means you buy something at a low price, then resell it at a higher price. I’ve known kids to buy used furniture at thrift stores, then invest some elbow grease and resell an upgraded piece on Craigslist. Or, your comic book buff could hunt for popular books and sell them on eBay.
What kinds of jobs did you have as a kid? What lessons did you learn from them?