Basics

Let’s get real!  Most teens can’t wait till we’re on our own.  We want extra cash in our pockets to do things or buy things we want.  That means a job.  We need to prove that we’re responsible and willing to work hard.  Employers look for kids who’ve shown previous initiative, dedication and responsibility.

Sometimes you might be too young or unskilled for certain jobs.  Don’t let that deter you.  You can volunteer or take an internship, paid or unpaid, to learn those skills.  Then the next time you apply for a “paid” job (see Paid Jobs section) you can show your experience and skills.

Volunteering (see Volunteering section) and Internship (see Internships section) are also great ways to explore a field you might be interested in.  You can ask the professionals questions, observe the environment and see whether it might be the right type of career for you.

Check out our section on Job Ages, Wages & Rules, to see what you are allowed to do based on your age.  Also you should know the minimum wage and be aware of the taxes (see Teens & Taxes section) you might have to pay.  Be prepared to ask yourself, and answer, some serious questions before you start.