Great First Jobs for Teenage Girls

By the time your daughter is learning to drive you’ll likely want to encourage her to get her first real job.  Not only will she need money for gas (and possibly car payments and/or insurance), but it’s not a bad idea to get her used to the idea of fitting work into her schedule (since she may have to work through college and she’ll almost certainly need a job afterwards).  In addition to teaching responsible behaviors (sticking to a schedule, handling money, etc.), earning her own money will help your daughter feel confident in her ability to support herself while teaching her that hard work leads to attaining goals (financial or otherwise).  While you may not be picky about the job she chooses, some are probably going to be better than others (in terms of both pay and working conditions).  So here are a few you may want to suggest.

  1. Child/pet care.  The ability to care for others fosters compassion and teaches young girls the skills they’ll need to one day care for their own families.  Also, there are always plenty of people looking for babysitters and dog walkers.  You can ask friends, colleagues, and neighbors if they need these services, ensuring that your daughter isn’t working for strangers, or she can offer to sit for teachers.  Although the work may be sporadic, it’s a pretty good way to make money and keep a flexible schedule for school.
  2. Tutor.  If your daughter is academically gifted there’s no reason she shouldn’t use her book-smarts to help other kids in need of a leg up.  She may be able to offer her services to students at her own school that are struggling with coursework she’s already mastered (especially if she’s in AP classes), she can talk to the office at schools with younger students (elementary and middle schools) about posting fliers for parents, or she can simply advertise on community bulletin boards (although you should have students come to your home rather than having her go to a stranger’s house).  She may even be eligible for a job at a tutoring facility (like Sylvan Learning Center or a comparable service).
  3. Grocery store.  Food service can be a real drag, so why not consider a job at a grocery store instead?  They often provide flexible hours, good pay, and excellent benefits (that might even be better than yours!).  Little or no experience is required for some positions (bagger, stocker, etc.) and she will have the opportunity to work up to better paying positions.
  4. Retail sales.  There are a couple of pluses to working in retail sales of some sort.  For one thing, your daughter probably spends a pretty penny on the latest fashions; if she can get a job at a store she frequently shops at she’ll most likely enjoy an employee discount (which is good news for your wallet, as well).  She could also get commission in addition to hourly pay, so she stands to make more than say, washing dishes or upsizing fries.  And she’ll have valuable experience in the retail industry that could help her to get ahead in the business world.
  5. Online work.  Most girls these days are pretty computer savvy, not to mention well-acquainted with social networking.  Incredibly, this knowledge can lead to paying jobs.  Your daughter could earn money writing for blogs (About.com, for example), posting photos (iStockPhoto.com), and even giving her opinion (surveys for money).  The opportunities for employment online are abundant and her earnings will only be limited by her motivation.

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