By Carlee M. McCullough, Special to The New Tri-State Defender
Depending on the age of their children, some parents are facing the onset of summer with tongue-in-cheek dismay as they concern themselves with the activities of the kids during the school break.
Some kids will chill at home for the summer. Others will attend summer camp. Some energetic children will have jobs for the first time. And a few enterprising youngsters will take an opportunity for entrepreneurship.
Children learn meaningful lessons – time management, teamwork, budgeting and leadership – by having some type of work experience. Years ago, summer jobs for teens were prevalent and plentiful. But as the job market became tighter, summer jobs became scarce. Now there is an underlying competition between teens and adults for jobs that have traditionally gone to teens.
An enterprising few bypass the job market and dive head first into owning a business. With proper supervision there are a few jobs that are very kid friendly.
Social media consultant
Teens have grown up with the Internet while many adults do not have a comfort level with social media yet. So there is a huge opportunity for teens to assist adults in developing a social media presence. Whether the presence is for business or personal use, teens can help adults get ushered into social media.
For a fee, teens can teach adults how to set up their social media sites, how to blog and how to use search engines efficiently. Although books and websites detail how to effectively use social networking sites, it is usually better to have one-on-one training to truly learn the concept and the differences between all of the sites. The teen can point out which sites are most popular. They can help with set up and even management of the site. By the time a site reaches many adults, it may be on the downside as far as usability in the social networking arena. Getting ahead of the social networking curve is a welcome position.
Babysitting is a sure-fire way for a responsible teen to earn great money during the summer. Parents are in need of child-care options for kids that are too old for daycare but not yet mature enough to stay home alone. A top-notch babysitter must be a number of things, including patient, professional, responsible, trustworthy and prepared. Special skills such as CPR and lifeguard are added selling points. Great references go a long way.
Marketing can begin with posted flyers, parents’ family and friends. There are also websites such as care.com that can also be used as a marketing tool.
Kid shuttle service
Parents and their kids often have summer schedules that don’t coincide. Camp or the child’s summer job may present a transportation challenge and that makes a kid shuttle service useful. Some parents may not be comfortable with Uber transporting their children from point to point. So a familiar teen with a vehicle, insurance and a great driving record can be a welcome addition. Make sure to become familiar with the laws, regulations and rules associated with transportation in the state.
Running errands for adults and seniors can be worth the money paid for the service. The parents’ time is freed up for other things when simple errands can be performed by someone else. Grocery shopping, dog walking and picking up the cleaning are only a few of the services that can be offered. Transportation is usually needed to be effective with this gig.
For teens that love arts and crafts, hair décor can be a popular item for sale. Hair scrunchies, headbands, hair ties, and hair bows are all things that women gravitate towards. Creative designs tend to attract younger kids; while mature females tend to prefer functional and conservative. Social media is a great way to market them for low cost.
Summer is intertwined with family vacations. Many homeowners like the additional security provided by a house sitter and increasingly so given the concern many express about crime. Reliability is key.
(Contact Carlee M. McCullough, Esq. at 901-795-0050; email firstname.lastname@example.org.)