Looking for a job that'll enrich your soul and start you on the path towards a lifelong career? OK, maybe not. You're probably just looking for a way to make cash and beat your boredom.
Never fear. There are tons of ways to reach your goals – including some you may not have considered before. And you might find that the job you pick is rewarding in more ways than you expected. (Seriously!)
1. LandscaperLots of homeowners in your 'hood need help around the yard - from lawn mowing in the spring and summer, to raking in the fall, to shoveling in the winter. They'd probably rather pay a local teen than an expensive landscaping company.
- Pros: Great exercise, great pay and a great way to get to know your neighbors.
- Cons: You'll need to be extra-motivated if you want to start your own business and find clients. And all that manual labor can be exhausting.
2. Animal CaretakerWanna make some furry friends? Consider being a dog walker, a pet sitter or even a groomer. Many pet owners feel guilty about being away from home all day, and they'd happily pay you to give their pets some extra love.
- Pros: You can make your own hours, and if you're an animal lover, this job will hardly feel like work.
- Cons: Unless your client is Babe the talking pig, hanging out with pets all day can get lonely. Plus, you'll have to deal with all those less-than-adorable things that pets do.
3. TutorThe perfect job if you're considering being a teacher, or if you excel at one or more of your school subjects. Talk to your guidance counselor and local library about job opportunities. Or you could even start your own tutoring business.
- Pros: Good money, a ton of practice at your favorite subjects and a huge feeling of accomplishment.
- Cons: Frustrating at times, and if you tutor at your own school, you'll be stuck inside the same building all day.
4. Restaurant EmployeeYou love eating at restaurants, so why not work at one - as a server, busser, line cook or host? Many restaurants look for staff through word of mouth, so make a sweep of your favorite joints and ask the manager if they need any help.
- Pros: A great way to meet people and practice your social skills. As a server or busser you'll probably get paid from tips, so the harder you work, the more money you make.
- Cons: At any given time, this is one of the stressful jobs you can have. And servers take a lot of abuse from fussy customers.
5. Camp CounselorIf you love the outdoors and don't mind being away from home, camp counseling is a great way to enjoy the summer and make new friends.
- Pros: With all the socializing and activities, it's practically as fun as being a camper. Plus, the time away from home is great prep for college life.
- Cons: It's seasonal, obviously. And being in charge of sick or injured kids is a big responsibility.
6. Office InternWhile your friends are toiling away at the mall, get a dose of the professional life by interning for a local business. Ask your parents and your parents' friends if they know of any open positions, or just start sending emails to companies you like.
- Pros: One of the best resume builders you can get, and it might lead to a long-term, high-paying position.
- Cons: Most internships are unpaid, and you'll probably get handed a lot of grunt work at first.
7. Movie Theater EmployeeIf you're a budding filmmaker or just a fan, working at a theater is a great way to see a ton of free flicks and hang out with other film buffs.
- Pros: Free movies, lots of downtime and all the popcorn you can eat.
- Cons: You'll probably be making minimum wage or close to it. And after your fiftieth bag, that "free popcorn" thing will be more of a con than a pro.
8. Etsy SellerAre you crafty? At Etsy.com, you can sell your homemade goods - like jewelry, greeting cards and knitwear - to craft lovers all around the world.
- Pros: Your chance to get paid for being totally creative. You can set your own prices and work from home.
- Cons: You'll need a credit card and your parents' permission to sign up, and every item you list (whether or not it sells) will set you back twenty cents.
9. Park EmployeeCheck out the job opportunities at state and national parks. There's a wide range of work to be done, from guest services to concessions to getting down and dirty in the wilderness.
- Pros: You'll get to work in a beautiful environment and learn about local ecology.
- Cons: Some positions are unpaid, and others are only seasonal. Check with the National Park Service to see what's available by you.
10. VolunteerWho said that jobs need to pay in cash? Volunteer work can give you something many paying jobs can't: that warm fuzzy feeling. Find out what opportunities are available by you.
- Pros: Excellent addition to your resume and college applications. And at the end of the day, it just feels great.
- Cons: Besides the pay? None.