How to Help Your Teenager Get Work (Even If No One is Hiring) | Organizing Made Fun: How to Help Your Teenager Get Work (Even If No One is Hiring)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

How to Help Your Teenager Get Work (Even If No One is Hiring)

Call it frustration or call it determination -- whatever you call it, I call it a mom on a mission! My 17 year old son CAN NOT find a paying job anywhere -- and I'm not alone. The jobs for teens are scarce or non-existent, at least where we live! So, we are taking matters into our own hands and we figured out a way to help my teenager get work, even though there was no one hiring!

How to Help Your Teenager Get Work (Even If No One is Hiring) ::

First, let me say, if your teenager found a job - yippee! But, my poor kid has tried and tried and tried -- they aren't even responding back from his resume and online application {I hate those}, which we have made as professional as possible, helped with all kinds of skills, etc. I'm a big advocate that at his age he must be working. MUST. He's driving now and that costs a LOT of money - have you priced car insurance on a 17 year old teenage boy? Yeah, it's not pretty! We make our kids pay for almost everything because we feel it's the perfect time to teach them how to budget and manage money before being out on their own.

As most of you know, my son also has autism. Yes, there are actually programs to get hired if you are a special needs kid, but you must be 18+ years old to qualify. I don't want my son sitting around all summer at 16 and 17 years old doing nothing! Guess what? He's not. We have found a way to him to not only MAKE money but make MORE money than if he had a "real" job and he sets his own hours! How in the world did we do that?

Well, first off, we found his skill and we've banked on that. My son is STRONG, FAST, and amazing at working hard! He's turned these skills into money all year long. He digs, hauls, cleans gutters, helps with garage sales, does light painting/sanding, bush removal, and a ton more that we've written out. I posted his information on city wide FB groups {like selling/buying groups} and on a website called Nextdoor and on my personal FB page, plus a picture of him covered in dirt and looking like a hard worker {this is important}. I listed his hourly rate, days of the week he's available, and all his skills. Within an hour, he had booked up for a week! People he's done work for jumped in on the threads and said how good he was at what he did and that they should hire him. In fact, I'm SURE you can find success in helping your teenager find work too! Here's how:

1. Find a skill or talent that your teenager has: This can include anything that they are good at - making things, manual labor, babysitting, shoveling snow {in winter, obviously}, baking cake/cupcakes for parties, weeding, artist, photographer, jewelry maker, pet sitting, organizing, cleaning, mowing, gardening, moving, mother's helper. 

2. Come up with the rate, either hourly or by the job: Our son, for instance, charges $10 per hour. He's fast and works REALLY hard and often he makes more than he charges as people expect him to take longer than he does so they pay him for the amount they expect it to be. 

3. Advertise: Find a Facebook Sell/Buy group, go on the local neighborhood group {I use}, an email group from your area or your church group. I suggest cross posting in several groups, be sure to include a photo of the work or your kid {if you are comfortable}. NEVER give out personal information on a group forum. Always state to private message you for email or phone number. 

Hard working teen photo ::

4. Be specific: List exactly the type of work or things offered. Try to list every possible idea. Here's an example of what we list for our son:

SEVENTEEN Year Old HARD Worker available for hire this summer:
Adam is a 17 year old, hard working teen! He charges $10 an hour and has some upcoming openings this summer. He has been doing this business for over a year now and has many references and satisfied customers.
- gutter cleaning
- moving things around your yard
- cleaning out the garage
- digging, moving dirt
- filling sand bags
- bush removal
- Garage sale set up and clean up
- Light painting
- Light sanding
- Heavy lifting and hauling {does not include dumping}
- Small tree removal
- Lawn mowing {with your mower}
- Any difficult, hard, or dirty job he's happy to do
- Rock removal or moving
- Furniture moving and help moving
He will drive to you {in the local Burbank area - no freeway driving}. Days available to work this summer:
- Tuesdays
- Wednesdays
- Thursdays
- Saturdays
- Sunday afternoons

He's not afraid of hard work and has many work referrals from neighbors and church members who have hired him and have NOT been disappointed in his work ethic and ability to get the job done. He's strong and experienced. Leave a comment and I will PM you with his contact information. He has most all his own tools/equipment that he can bring with him for the job at your house. However, he is NOT a handyman and can not do that type of work on your home. Thank you!

Add the photo along with it. If your child makes jewelry or has an artistic ability like hand lettering/chalkboard lettering, list the price per line or whatever you are thinking is reasonable. For photography, list how much they will charge per session. Since they aren't professional, give a reasonable rate and show pictures of past work. 

5. Teach your teenager to organize: Go out and get your teenager a calendar/organizer. Sit down, and teach them how to schedule things. I give out my son's email address and phone number for people to call him. I get out of the way and let him be the direct contact with them. He gets out his calendar and looks at the days available and how much time each job should take, etc. He also writes down what the job is, what tools he'll need to take, and their address. 

6. Reply: When I get a private message, here is my reply to the potential customer:

Thank you for inquiring about my son, Adam. He is definitely a hard worker and will do a great job for you. When you contact him, please let him know the job you need done, approximately how long you think it should take, your address, and when you’d like him to come.

Adam: ###-###-#### {texting is best or leave a message if you call}

He accepts cash or check!

This puts the responsibility on my son to work it out between he and the customer. Since my son has a difficult time with talking on the phone, having him text or email gives him the ability to reply and ask for help here and there. It has helped him learn to react to things easier and give him time to think through his answer. Choose what is best for your teenager.

7. Follow up: When your teenager is done with the job they do, have them follow up. Have them bring their organizer/calendar with them to the job. When the person is paying them, pull out their calendar and ask if they would like them to come back and what date they would like. They have to sell themselves. For some people, this is a one time deal. That's fine. 

If you advertised your teen on a local site, ask the customer if they wouldn't mind leaving a comment on that thread {text or email them the URL to the thread} sharing their experience, if they were happy with it. This gives them some credibility for the next time and also a way of referencing their work for potential employers in the future. 

8. In between: If the works seems to lull or die down a bit, go back to the thread you first posted and write something like "Adam has a few openings this week if anyone is needing some more work done." Or follow up via text or email with past customers asking if they have any more work they'd like done as you have a day open here or there, that way they may have thought about something that came up they need help with and just needed a little nudge. 

Business cards for teenage worker ::

9. Bonus Business Cards: One of the things I also had my son do is to make business cards. I got them for under $15 and when he gets a job, he can hand out his business card while they are paying him so they can have that to put on the fridge to remember to call him the next time they need help. I got him his business cards HERE

10. Benefits: There are a LOT of great benefits my son has found by being "self-employed". Let me list a few:

  • Flexibility - able to set own hours, take a day off when needed
  • Opportunity to make more than set price - often he works so hard, so fast, that the people wind up paying him $15-20 an hour for his work 
  • Able to turn down work - some jobs he just isn't cut out to do. He's willing but if it's not his strength and no one to teach him, he's able to turn down those jobs
  • Independence - he drives now, so he is able to drive to the houses all over our area and meets with the people. He has met all kinds of people and has gained a lot of independence.
  • References - He now has a LOT of great references from all the different jobs he's done.
  • Experience - He also has a lot of experience to put on a resume 
I'm sure there are a lot more benefits, but these are just the ones on the top of my head. You'll have to get creative, but all the jobs I listed in #1, I have actually seen teenagers make money and succeed. It's important they learn to budget, earn money, and have a job! Has your teen had trouble finding a job this summer?

How to Help Your Teenager Get Work (Even If No One is Hiring) ::

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  1. I absolutely LOVE your idea to help your son!!! He is exactly the kind of "handyman" I am looking for in my area (Alabama). Years ago I had the privilege of having two teen-aged nephews that were willing to do almost anything around the yard or house to help me. I live in a rural area and needed a lot of help just doing the same tasks you listed for your son. They cut down overgrown shrubbery, moved heavy things around, and many, many other tasks. One of the guys even put together a piece of furniture with about a thousand pieces for me. My husband had been putting off the task for almost a year! I would love to find a kid to help me like that again.

    Love your ideas,

    Mimi in alabama

  2. What a great idea to help teens find work! With how busy kids and teens are these days having a flexible schedule is invaluable.

  3. You have NO idea how badly I wished he lived in my area. I need a good working teen boy so badly for jobs around the house its ridiculous. I am in my 50s and have fibromyalgia pretty badly plus other problems. Because of this I can only work part time and therefore my funds to pay professionals is limited. They charge outrageous rates most of the time. I tried going to the youth group at church. That was a joke, all I heard from EVERY adult was, "teens today are far too busy for things like that". I was so provoked and angry. During my brother's time in the youth group (he's 6 years younger than me and turns 50 this year, that's how long ago this was) years ago they began a fundraiser where the kids hired themselves out to the families of the church for jobs like raking leaves, etc. Then, the person made a donation to their mission trup fund. It worked well. At my parents home it became an annual event for then to rake the MASSIVE 2 acres worth of leaves. You'd never would know these were teenagers that day. They played in the leaves, had lots of fun but got the job done. My mom would feed them food like sloppy joes and things and it was an annual event. They had a blast. Then, my folks would make a substantial donation and everyone benefitted. No more, teens are too busy now in life to help anyone. I tried for two years for a teen to do dog walking for me. The few times I got someone a parent would interfere and say it was too dark for their 16 or 17 year old to be out in the dark at 5:00 in the evening or something else as stupiud. Wyear old? I gave up. Kids today have NO work ethic. They've been pushed and brainwashed to be in numerous sports and so many other events they have no time for anyone else. At 16 I had my first paying job. This was after being a candy striper for years and babysitting quite a bit. I also completely ran the house in the summer beginning at age 13 while both parents worked fulltime, something unusual in my childhood. Boy there are some stories there believe me. Its a wonder i didn't kill them with some of my cooking while I learned. Your son is SO blessed to have a mom like you. This teaching will help him for the rest of his life. Most parents today think their job is to spoil their child and give them every desire they wish, to wait on them hand and foot and treat them like an Arab princess.Even when I was in college in the early 1980s I had roommates who could do nothing for themselves, not even bake a cupcake from a box mix by themselves. I could run a household by this time thanks to my mother insisting I do these things as a teen. Of course at times I'd get mad and complain that my parents only had me to be a free slave but I'm so grateful I learned these things. And of course, I still had plenty of fun too. It sounds as though you're doing a fantastic job with your son. Keep up the good work.


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