For many teenagers, the first job is a rite of passage that gives them the first taste of the adult world. Many teens start working at the age of sixteen, which is the legal employment age in many states. Even if a teen has worked before, for friends or neighbors mowing lawns or pet sitting, the first foray into the formal working world can be intimidating.
Part time jobs for 16 year olds can be sparse during certain times of the year, but more available during others. Finding a good fit for your schedule can be tricky during the school year, so more teens are looking for work during the summer, making the market tighter. but if you put your best foot forward and present yourself as a desirable employee, your chances of landing that job become much stronger.
Typical Jobs for Teens
Many teens start out working part time for a fast food restaurant or a grocery store. These are good outlets for teens for several reasons. First, they need people and the turnover tends to be high. Second, many of these businesses are open all day, every day, and so the available hours are more flexible than a job that would require you to be in an office from nine to five. Third, the jobs are fairly easy to learn, and are available almost anywhere.
When applying for a part time job, it is important to know that some states limit the number of hours you can work until you reach the age of eighteen, and some limit the available part time jobs for 16 year olds. For example, food preparation might be off-limits at first. So be prepared to be flexible about what job you're willing to take.
Preparing for an Interview
Another stumbling block for many teens seeking their first formal job is the job interview. Interviews are intimidating for everyone, so spend some time preparing. Dress nicely, be polite, and answer questions as thoroughly and honestly as possible. Knowledge about the position and some common sense will get your interview off to a great start.