Dear Hope: I Want a Job

Dear Hope,job
I want to get a part time job. My problem is I have no job experience, this would be my first job. I’m only 17 and have not worked yet. I’m not sure where to apply. I need flexible hours for when school starts and I don’t want to work at a fast food place. Any help would be great.
– Empty Pockets

Dear Empty Pockets,
Part time jobs available for your age group usually don’t require experience. They assume that this is your first job.

What they look for is who you are as a person. Tell them about any extracurriculars or small jobs you have done. You may actually have more experience than you realize.

Examples:
• Mowing lawns – Shows you can complete tasks and work hard
• Babysitting – Shows you are responsible and can handle sticky situations
• Played a sport – Shows you are great on a team
• Dog sat/walked – Shows you are good with more than just people
• Chess club – Shows that you are logical

You get the idea.

Where to apply:
• Department stores – They are always hiring, especially closer to the holidays. You can be a cashier or work on the floor putting clothes away and helping customers. Bonus, you will also get a discount on clothes.
• Grocery stores – Jobs for your age group usually include cashier, bagging groceries and stocking shelves.
• Hosting at a restaurant – One of the main tasks is seating people at their tables. It usually does not require handling food.
• Local gyms or offices – They will sometimes hire teenagers to answer phones and do some simple tasks.
• Delivering pizza – I know this is close to fast food, but you won’t actually be making the food. You will need a license and a car. This job also gives you the chance to get tips.

Any place that hires teens in school understands their schedule. They will be flexible with your school hours. They may not be flexible with sports and extracurricular. Be upfront with your availability when applying and interviewing.

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the first job you apply for. Apply at several places and keep applying until the right place offers you a job.

If anyone has any suggestions for Empty Pockets please let us know in the comments!

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

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