General Question

ChocolateReigns's avatar

I'm turning 14 this fall and would like to get a job. Would it be practical to even try, or should I just wait until the economy gets better?

Asked by ChocolateReigns (5619points) March 28th, 2010

I realize that there are people out there that need the job way more than me. I also realize that there are tons of people out there that are going to be competing for the job. I realize that some of these people are qualified to be doing something way better than flipping burgers (or whatever). So should I just wait? And if not, what would be a good job to try for? I know I could only get a certain number of hours a week, and not during school hours (I’m homeschooled, by the way).

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25 Answers

XOIIO's avatar

It’s never to early to start saving money.

Gas stations hire prtty easily, thats where I work.

crystalvegan's avatar

Look, don’t sacrifice yourself for the masses. It’s a dog eat dog world out there and if you want a job, get your butt out there and get yourself one. It might be rough finding one, depending on where you live, but at least try! Good luck!

janbb's avatar

See if your local public library hires teens to shelve books or work the circ desk. It’s a nice place to work and the hours won’t affect your schoolwork. If you can get a job, don’t worry about taking someone else’s. I say go for it.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Fast food
Grocery stores
Zoo
Libraries

That’s about all I can think of right now.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@DrasticDreamer and @janbb!! Why did I not think of that?! I’m a total nerd. I go to the library at least 3 times a week, because I always have a book to pick up. The librarians know me by name, they know to go for the shelf when I walk in the door, yeah that’s an amazing idea. Thank you!

Vunessuh's avatar

What about babysitting or dog walking or house sitting or mowing lawns? These things can easily be done in your neighborhood.
I don’t know where you live, but I don’t think a lot of the places that some people mentioned would hire 14 year olds.
Good luck.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

Yes,I believe 14 is too young to legally gain employment.I could be wrong but I believe in my state it is 16. You could get a job in which you could get paid under the table.

DeanV's avatar

Many places around where I are have an age limit of 15 such as gas stations, grocery stores, etc. I’d personally wait until you’re older to give yourself a better chance at even getting employed.

Plus, you’re only 14. Live it up. As @XOIIO said, it’s never to early to start saving money, but that money can easily come from something less committal such as mowing lawns.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

It’s 14, for certain positions, in my state.

Bugabear's avatar

I’d wait till you’re 16. My cousin got turned down and he’s 14. Even though you’re legally allowed to work as a 14 year old most places wont hire anyone under 16 unless they have a very good reason to.

janbb's avatar

It never hurts to ask.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

At 14, my daughter had a job bagging groceries at a local market. My other daughter volunteered a a museum as a docent, and used that on her resume as work experience when she got a paying job at 15.

This was the first year that I saw teens out shoveling snow, and I have hired a neighbor’s son to do raking and grass cutting. He has a lot of business because the yards are small here and he charges $10 for the front and back. The lawn service wants $20. He cuts 15 yards each week in the summer.

The girl across the street has a good business in pet sitting when people go away on vacation. She takes in the mail, waters plants, walks the dog a couple of times a day, feeds the cat.

You could try day care centers and summer camp programs for positions. A co-worker’s 14 year old son worked at a camp for handicapped children last summer.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Perfect time to start your own business.
Mow lawns and do yard work.
Walk dogs.
Do light housekeeping / cleaning.
Offer to clean out garages and attics.
Paint fences (I would not recommend house painting, because of the heights and liability issues you’d have to face, as well as the equipment you’d need).
Deliver newspapers.
Deliver groceries.

All kinds of things are available to a young person who’s willing to think outside the box of “working for the man”. And your business of mowing lawns can pay off big time. (My cousin’s husband does it as a business, and vacations for about three months of each year… in their vacation house. I work for a wage all year and I can’t afford a vacation house… or three months off to enjoy it.)

phillis's avatar

I just have to say, I am stunned to see the way you have applied your compassion. Don’t pay any attention whatsoever to that dog-eat-dog bullshit, because it CAN change. The world gets one person worse off every time someone acts selfishly.

It wouldn’t occur to many people of ANY age, to consider that some of these folks have bills that kill, or families to feed. Truly remarkable. I hope you never lose that. Have you considered any philanthropic efforts? I know you want money, and yes, most of them are volunteer. But perhaps on a part time basis a day or two a week?

I apologize for not producing a list like some of the other incredible answers. I was so moved by what you said, that I had to tell you. With the way you are able to view things, you could literally change the lives of thousands. I hope you find a way to make money AND apply your gift.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Though I agree with @phillis that your compassion is quite remarkable, for you to take a job (or invent your own, as I’ve suggested) doesn’t take away from anyone else’s opportunity to take (or make) a job of his or her own, too. Economics is not a zero-sum game where your job makes “one job not available” for someone else.

There is always work to be done. The trick is to find someone who is willing to pay you to do that work, who will trust you to do it well and be worth what they’re willing to pay, and to come back again tomorrow and do it again. And again the next day. A lot of the people who claim to be so much in need of “a job” really haven’t learned that yet. (The other trick to this is being able to take a job that someone else can’t or won’t because they don’t want to get dirty, to get up early, to work so hard or sweat, etc.)

Take whatever job you can get, if that’s where you feel comfortable—the job was there for anyone to take when you met it, so it’s yours for the taking. But if you decide to “make your own work”, then you might end up giving people jobs on your own before long, too. (My cousin’s husband employs some good-sized crews during the summer months.)

phillis's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Excellent point. There’s no reason why everybody can’t win. I hadn’t thought of that.

galileogirl's avatar

I’m not in your state either but here 15 is the youngest age and that’s with a school approved work permit. Things are very difficult in the economy and what we are seeing is that minimum wage jobs are going to adults who can do things kids are not allowed to do. We do have a long term program at our school that has summer education and learning programs. We fundraise and send our city kids to places like farms or river rafting or special university programs between 10th and 11th grades and then the next year they may get a chance to go to another country. Your counseling office might have some nonpay opportunities. If you can impress someone with your ability and work ethic now there may be a job at 16 or at the very least some great references for your resume.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@CyanoticWasp I would do stuff like that, but my mom says I can’t go door-to-door or put up posters. How else would I get my name out there?

I think what I should do right now is some volunteering. That would put some good stuff on my resume so in a few years, people will have reason to hire me.

The only reason I thought I had any chance at all was that I’m homeschooled, and maybe I could get some work during school hours once all the summer kids have gone back to school. But that would require proof that I’m getting my school work done other times of the day.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@ChocolateReigns good point.

You might bring up with your mom that part of your education involves learning social and work skills. Maybe “going door to door” isn’t such a good thing—not all neighborhoods are safe, after all, and it’s your mom’s job to keep you safe—so it’s not a bad idea to involve her in the solution. Does she have friends or a church group that you can talk to?

The only person you need to prove your “school” qualifications to are your mom (or whoever teaches your home school), so that’s not really an issue, I think.

Volunteering is a good thing, too.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@CyanoticWasp You mean it’s not a law that I would have to show that I can get my school done and still work during school hours? I thought it was. Well that makes my life easier.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@ChocolateReigns I have no idea what “the law” is as it pertains to minors seeking employment. I do know that there’s still a semblance of freedom left in this country to permit you to “make your own job” without proof of anything to anyone—other than your ability to do a job you agree to do. That’s why the prospects I listed were things that you can do on your own, without permits, bureaucratic red tape, or licenses. I still recommend those avenues. If you choose to work for an hourly wage, then there may be federal, state and local ‘employment laws’ (really, to call them what they are, they are “unemployment laws”) to prevent you from doing that. (Plus, wage-paying employers do have employment and insurance liability and other rational considerations that may prevent them from offering you a job, no matter how much they might want to on a personal level.)

Finally, you have to face the fact of federal, state and local “minimum wage” laws that also make most 14-year-olds unsuitable for most employment, and hence from serious consideration for that, too.

You’re really better off being your own boss. Find a way to work with your mom to make that happen. One thing that might help to sell her on the concept is the fact that running your own business will help (greatly) in your maturing process. (Not that you seem to be lacking in that area, but you still have miles to go.)

Good luck.

phillis's avatar

@ChocolateReigns People skill/social skill developing is psychology, which is a discipline of science. Walking is health, which is a division of science. That’s the great thing about home schooling!

With your mom’s permission, you could think of something you’d like to do, then put a flyer at your local grocery store’s cork board with your phone number on it. Any time you meet strangers, you are in danger. Your mom knows this. Volunteering can be dangerous, too. But we have to draw the line somewhere, or we end up no longer able to live our lives. Perhaps you could volunteer somewhere where there are classes on how to protect yourself in public. Once you learn that, you could teach others. Just a thought :)

snowberry's avatar

@ChocolateReigns I doubt a grocery store would want to hire you during school hours. Their customers would likely not care for seeing you there “when that child should be in school”. However, many homeschooled children work in their family business during school hours. But that is different than working for someone else. At that age, my daughter volunteered at a veterinarian, walking their dogs, etc. The vet liked her so much, he allowed her to assist in an operation. Later when she was old enough, she actually got a job at that place. Volunteering is a great way to build work experience, and also get your foot in the door if you decide you want to work there later.

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