Cool Summer Cash

I read with interest an article that arrived in my email inbox today. The subject? Teens who are turning to entrepreneurship in the wake of a lack of summer jobs. The article is from the Specialty Retail Report, one of many eletters, ezines, and updates I follow. Check it out here:
The article has some great info in it, but it struck me as funny that the author thought it was a new idea for teens to create their own jobs, build a small business, or start production of a product, to earn summer cash. Um....news flash: this isn't a groundbreaking discovery! Didn't we ALL do that? Babysitting, paper routes, selling lemonade, mowing lawns - whatever it took to get the coin to go roller skating, hang out at the beach or the mall, see a movie, or just go to the local 7/11 and scarf candy? No, our sights weren't always set on it leading to a 'real' business, but we had 'get up and go'!

I know, "Kids are different now!" I agree. Perhaps this early introduction to independent business will create stronger, wiser people to lead business and our country into the future. There is much to be learned about business, and life, that cannot be taught in schools or from books. It's not more or less valuable, but equally so. Real-life experience is priceless.

This subject makes me curious: What summer jobs did YOU have? (Or, rather, what summer jobs did you CREATE?!) I was a babysitter, weed picker, Little League snack shack cashier, church classroom cleaner, decorator to all of my friends (we'd rearrange their bedrooms), and inventory taker/stockperson/gift show schlepper/display stylist at my mom's gift shop across from Disneyland. When I reached 16, I was a retail stockperson and cashier for a large department store, a fast food cashier, an amusement park ride operator, and then a display designer for a chain of major fashion stores. You can see the aptitude was always there! ;0)

A few jobs I didn't get paid for were starting a student newspaper in elementary school, babysitting my siblings!, tutoring other students in reading & handwriting, creating all of the artwork for our junior high yearbook, and working in the school activities office in high school.

Your turn... share your teen summer jobs!


  1. I made $250 babysitting the summer of 1976. Bought my own back to school clothes that year. My mom was not happy ;)

  2. I did the babysitting thing. I'm the oldest of 5 so a good deal of it was not paid babysitting. As soon as I was old enough I was a lifeguard and swim teacher.

  3. I did the usual...babysitting, ran errands, worked at Disneyland (ok so that isn't 'usual' unless you were raised in Anaheim!) but my most unusual was holding the checkered flag for moto-cross races!!! I had to stand there in the dust and noise...to waive that flag. It was actually alot of fun, and it made me money to buy fabric to make my own clothes and re-decorate my room!

    Love your blog...

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  5. I did tons of babysitting when younger. Then picked up a job writing a newsletter for a local real estate office,then headed to BK as a cashier. From there went to JC Penney and worked there my senior year and through college. My daughter is just starting this journey...She's going to pick strawberries and lavendar along with some babysitting.