This is the time of year that young people look forward to – end of the school year!! Dreams of sleeping in, hot summer days around the pool, the big “road trip” to the lake, biking all over the neighborhood on great adventures with friends are on the mind right now instead of studies. Some enterprising children may even think of getting a job or starting a business. In my Leadership Matters classes with the 12-14 yrs age group, I encourage them to consider how jobs at this age can positively help prepare the groundwork for their future. Employers of every industry look for these highly valued attributes including dedication, multi-tasking, responsibility, reliability & customer service according to a Westwood College blog posted March 5, 2013.

BABYSITTING While trying to calm down a screaming toddler, prepare a snack for the children and admire the artwork of the 5 yr old, your son/daughter is learning how to multi-task. The ability to juggle different priorities is a valued skill in this fast-paced, highly connected modern workplace according to the blog.

LEMONADE STAND This is a common sight in most neighborhoods during the summer months. Personally, I frequent these stands whenever possible. This roadside business teaches lessons about economics, supply and demand, pricing and marketing. A marketing tip from the post – write some of the letters on the sign backwards to get some sympathy sales!!

NEWSPAPER ROUTE Nothing spells dedication like being up at the crack of dawn dealing with cold or inclement weather to get the route completed. One main lesson this job instills is accountability. If a house is missed accidentally, the young person will usually hear about it.

HELPING AT THE FAMILY BUSINESS Many children spend their evenings & Saturdays helping at the family business. Serving customers and waiting tables are excellent ways to teach conflict resolution and interpersonal skills. They also gain insight into being a “team player”. Everyone should be a server at some point in their career to give them empathy for those in the restaurant industry.

MOWING LAWNS or SHOVELLING SNOW Working in the heat of the summer pushing a lawn mower or in frigid temperatures shovelling driveways are ways that teens learn attention to detail and hard work. The one who left piles of cut grass or missed the sidewalk didn’t receive calls from the neighbors. Getting the job done right was the only way to earn repeat business.

Teens are inventive and can probably come up with even more business ideas. Encourage them to explore this possibility. It will definitely make their resume stand out from the crowd.

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