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Teens: Start Looking For Your Summer Job Now

Topics: Career Advice

There are plenty of different ways to look at unemployment rates, but make no mistake: If you’re a teenager looking for part-time work this summer, you’re going to have a tough time. According to a survey of 15 major U.S. cities reported by Fox Business, only 38 percent of teens looking for summer work have been able to find it. That’s saying in effect that more than 60 percent of teenagers can’t find the summer job they’re looking for. With some careful planning, here’s how you can avoid running into the same problem.


(Photo Credit: Pierre-Olivier Bourgeois/Unsplash)

This lack of summer jobs has been in the making for some time now. As one New York Times writer argues, it’s been an impending problem since congress abandoned its summer jobs program in the late ’90s. The program was designed to help lower-income teens, and when it was traded for a broader policy there was a 50 to 90 percent decline in summer program enrollment.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

But we can’t just wait on the government to solve this one; summer is only a couple of months away. While they find their way out of gridlock, here are a couple of ways you or your teen can get a jump on that summer job hunt.

Get Referrals: The LinkedIn Deep-Dive

Even if you or your child don’t have a “network” or people per se, the internet has made it easy to find out whom you know that could introduce you to a potential new employer. As The Muse points out, LinkedIn is designed for building professional relationships.

Rather than simply going on and adding anyone and everyone who might hire you, use LinkedIn’s data to find out how you’re “connected” to a given person in real life. Then begin to strategize about how you can make an introduction. 

Think Outside the Box

If people are having a hard time finding summer jobs, it’s likely that there’s going to be even higher demand for all the jobs that first come to mind. Consider leaving the conventional jobs behind, or branching out beyond becoming a lifeguard or a camp counselor, etc.

Last year, I wrote about some of the summer jobs that were still available at the end of July. One of them was a position on a political campaign. It’s 2016, one of the most talked-about election seasons in decades it would seem. Why not try leveraging some volunteer work into a seasonal paid position with a local campaign?

It’s going to take some work, but with a little luck and creative planning you may beat the odds yet.

Tell Us What You Think

What’s your strategy for finding a job this summer? Has it seemed like a simple process so far? Does this writer have no sense of relevant #teen culture? We want to hear from you! Tell us your story in the comments below, or on Twitter.

Peter Swanson
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