Summer is officially here! Now that school’s out, the job hunt is on for teenagers (and college students) seeking summer employment. We spoke to 15 small business pros on the best side hustles and gigs to apply for this season.
1. “The best jobs for teens are service industry jobs. This will teach them how to deal with difficult customers, stressful work environments, and will also give them way more respect for people who do these jobs. Customer service is one of the biggest issues when it comes to marketing. If there is an issue and they contact an organization to have the problem rectified, a company’s customer service skills can be the difference between losing a customer and retaining one.” — Matt Ruley, Owner, Work From Home Office
2. “I remember growing up and every summer working at my father’s business. The experience and what I learned was priceless but more remarkable were the drives to and from the office. We had an hour of pure conversation that I’ll never forget. Recently, I took my son out of school and we headed cross country to a conference in Austin. That experience was tremendous and he enjoyed it so much and traveled with me to another conference in Orlando. He was so inspired being around other entrepreneurs that instead of the traditional J.O.B. this summer, he is on a mission to monetize his YouTube channel. We’ll meet Monday mornings to set some goals for the week and regroup Friday to look at the lessons and successes. The majority of people around the world go through systems of social norms like education and then a job. A few crazy ones, like myself, will start their own venture, but while our children are so young, why not empower them to be creative and take control of themselves. Even if they don’t succeed they will succeed from the lessons learned. My daughters will be doing the same around passions they have. We’re still outlining what the business will be though. Hope this inspires another parent to empower their children to act on a dream or passion they have, while enjoying the summer.” — Mike Kawula, Entrepreneur/Podcaster/Marketing Influencer, MikeKawula.com
3. “When I was a kid, I had to look in the paper or go business to business looking for summer work. These days, teens can use apps and websites to find opportunities. If you like to drive, and have a clean car and clean driving record, there’s UBER and Lyft. If you have experience with kids, check out HopSkipDrive or Kango, where you can bring kids where they need to be if their parents are otherwise occupied. The vetting process is tougher than with UBER or Lyft, so be prepared for that. If you’d rather drive consumer goods or food, there are plenty of options, some of which only require a bike or scooter, rather than a car. For food or grocery delivery, try Grubhub, Shipt, Instacart, DoorDash. For everything else, check to see if Amazon Flex has a program in your area. Amazon Flex needs drivers to deliver Amazon Prime Now orders within an hour. If physical work is more your thing, try Bellhops helping people move. Takl, Handy and TaskRabbit offer a broad range of projects, including moving, handyman services, light plumbing and electrical. Care.co, has opportunities for those who like to attend to pets, kids or adults needing extra assistance. Wag!, Rover and Barkly Pets are specific to animal care. If you’d prefer a site with lots of options, try Fiverr Flexjobs or Fancy Hands. These sites are ideal if are you are skilled. Jobs vary, but you could find opportunities like graphic design projects to personal assistant work. If you excel in an academic subject, try VIPKID, which has tutoring opportunities.” — Trae Bodge, Journalist & TV Commentator, Trae Bodge Media
4. “Mowing grass part time can be very lucrative. Lawn care pros can earn up to $30-$40 per hour by cutting grass and this can all be done in the evening or even just on the weekends. Before my corporate career, I mowed lawns to pay for college and I made over $20k per summer.” — Gene Caballero, Co-Founder, GreenPal
5. “My best advice is to start online. Sell on eBay. It’s flexible. Something to work on over the summertime, and then continue during the school year. Teens learn to manage time, set prices, manage a budget, and the value of good customer service.” — Deborah Rogers, Owner, The Gifted Rat
6. “I would recommend they start their own side hustle using equipment they or their parents already have. This gives them experience with many aspects of a business including entrepreneurship, sales, marketing and running their own business. It teaches them initiative as well. I did this with my own swimming lesson business in the summers, and learned a lot as well as became the foundation for all of my future jobs.” — Stacy Caprio, Founder, Accelerated Growth Marketing
7. “Teens should consider working for company’s they visit or shop at frequently. For example, if they like to go to the movies, then they can consider working at the movie theater.” — Crystal Olivarria, Founder & CEO, Career Conversationalist
8. “Until retiring six years ago from working as an administrator at a well-known Atlanta university, I hired a number of high school students wanting summer jobs. Usually there are teachers or advisors in schools who can help students who don’t wish to work ‘Mac’ (McDonalds, Burger King. etc.) The students we hired not only learned office skills, filing, library research to support research grants, but life skills. Like proper dress for the office, proper phone, customer service skills and supporting me and the professors in my department with whatever else we required. Trained by me, two students were kept on after graduating where I was later able to hire them as office assistants. I learned other schools on campus also hired high student workers. These jobs aren’t readily known. Someone knew of the individual I worked with so I reached out to him. He also knew students whom he thought would benefit from these opportunities. Win-win.” — Carol Gee, Author
9. “When I think of summer and teen jobs I realize there are a lot of parents who need an extra pair of hands while they continue to work. This is what I believe are ‘top jobs’ for teens: (1) A babysitter who can watch kids when they are not at camp and be responsible for their well-being — meaning they are off their devices and actually keep the kids engaged and safe. (2) Caregiver for an elderly person. There are many caregivers who need respite from watching their loved ones with memory loss. A teen could be that person. (3) Dog walker and house sitter. A mature and responsible teen could make a fortune walking dogs and watching homes while families go on vacation. An irresponsible teen would be a disaster at this job. (4) Work on campaigns during this political year. Volunteer and get hours for civic duty for HS requirements.” — Louise Sattler, Owner, 411voices.com
10. “For younger teens looking to make some extra money, I would suggest being creative with art, wearables, trinkets, and other cool gifts. From here they could open an Etsy store and sell their items online. With such a huge marketplace it is a great way for kids to learn about selling online, eCommerce, and customer service.” — Ben Stanford, Owner, Red Cedar Websites Ltd.
11. “The best summer jobs for youth and young adults are jobs with small and local owned businesses. Take a look at the local chamber of commerce directory. Many of those businesses, such as bookkeeping firms, recreation businesses i.e. cheerleading, parkour, fitness organizations, summer camps, academic summer camps, and dance studios are great fits for summer employment. For those who enjoy more hands on approaches to work, connect with the local apprenticeship organizations. Helpers and clean up crews can be a fun way to spend the summer for painters, construction, HVAC (heat/air), plumbing, and general labor jobs. Your local parks and recreation organizations will hire a lot of summer pool and park employees ideal for youth and young adults.” — Debra Ann Matthews, Certified Coach & Professional Resume Writer, Let Me Write It For You
12. “Here’s three jobs that my teenagers have all done. (1) Pressure washing. In the summertime, heat and humidity brings grime to driveways, walkways, and the siding of homes. My son would locate a property in need, knock on the door and ask if he could pressure wash it for them, using his own machine. He priced it affordably and he became the go-to pressure washing kid in the neighborhood. (2) Dog sitting. My daughter started a dog sitting service when neighbors had to travel out of town. They’d leave her the keys so the dogs could remain in the comfort of their own home. Her service included everything from feeding, walking and playing with the dogs. On the last day before owners came home, she’d give the dog a bath. The service has worked out very well for her as a side hustle. (3) Science projects. My son is an honors high school science student who is always doing experiments around the house. He decided to turn this passion into a side business. Over the summer, he helped elementary school kids, typically 4th and 5th graders, complete their science projects that are required in the fall. The kids could choose from a few different areas that my son was very familiar with. He would oversee the entire project from start to finish, over a full two day period. My son bought all the supplies and understood all the procedures and formats required, making sure to follow school guidelines. He would even do the artwork for their presentation boards.” — James Stefurak, Founder & Editor, Invoice Factoring Guide for Small Business
13. “Become a mystery shopper. Shopping is fun, and turning that recreation into a job? Can’t get better than that! You’ll have loads of fun trying out restaurants, cafes and products at shops, and writing a review at the end can be stimulating and enjoyable. Work as a camp counselor. Working in a leadership position is a great learning experience and excellent way to hone your leadership skills for life. Work as a nanny or babysitter. If you love kids, you’ll love this kind of job. It can be fun, interesting, and provide an excellent learning curve. Being a nanny entails responsibility and leadership and you will gain both from working with children.” — Nate Masterson, CMO, Maple Holistics
14. “One job I like for kids is being a golf caddy at a country club. My son just turned 13 and he is caddying for the first time this summer. Carrying a bag is for four hours is a great way to develop one’s communication skills with adults. The kids also get some nice exercise and get paid cash. Personally, I think it is a great way for kids to build character, independence and responsibility.” — Bill Fish, Co-Founder, Tuck.com
15. “One thing that I got into as a young person, and was super fun, was guerilla marketing. Every major brand — Coke, Pepsi, Nintendo, Best Buy — launch marketing campaigns in the summertime and always need people to help out. This is ideal for young people with flexible hours because the work is often in the middle of the day. I did this for years – found most gigs on Craigslist at first but then became a word of mouth thing the more people I met. It turned out to be enough experience that I actually had this on my resume. The pay (used to be) around $20/hour.” — Elizabeth Shutty, VP of Marketing, Investor Junkie
Thinking about starting a small business this summer? Let us help! Give us a call at 1-877-692-6772, or visit us at mycorporation.com.