Get a Head Start On Your Summer Job

The time to look for your summer job is NOW!

Find something you would do for free and then figure out a way to get paid doing it.

Bob Seay, ADDitude Magazine

Ah, the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer. But what about the bored, broke, sick-of-watching-daytime-TV, get-into-trouble-because-you-have-nothing-to-do days of summer?

You can avoid the bored, broke, etc., etc. days of summer by getting a job. You'll make money, have something to do, and - if you work it right - have a good time doing it.

The school year may not be over yet, but the time to make your move towards getting a summer job is now. The longer you wait, the fewer choices you'll have - and we all know how people who have AD/HD feel about being forced to do something they don't want to do. You can avoid at least some of that by taking control of the situation and choosing what you want to do instead of having to pick from what's leftover or not finding anything at all.

Job Advice for the Very, Very Brave

The first rule of having a great job is to find something you would do for free and then figure out a way to get paid doing it.

For example, I found something that I would do for free (hang out on the computer and write) and I figured out a way to get paid doing it. Therefore, ergo, subsequently (take your pick), I don't go to work. I get up and start doing what I would be doing anyway whether I got paid for it or not. Fortunately, I do get paid for it, which is a good thing because I don't think I could handle having to go to work each day.

I would recommend that you do the same. Find something that you would do anyway and figure out a way to get paid doing it. Do you like to hang out at the pool? Then get paid to be a lifeguard, swimming instructor, or something else that lets you hang out at the pool. Do you like to exercise? Get a job in a warehouse lifting boxes or something else that uses some muscle. If you like to shop, then get a job selling clothes in the mall so you can get paid to spend all day helping other people shop.

I say that I don't have a job, but the reality is that even I have days when I have to work. You will, too. But, at least you know that eventually you can get back to the part of the job that you really like. That's much better than waking up in the morning and dreading going to work.

Speaking of going to work...

Finding a job can be a job in itself. Unfortunately, looking for a job doesn't pay as well as actually having a job does. You wouldn't want to make a career of doing job interviews. The ideas in the article Job Hunt Tips for ADHD Adults also apply to teens who are looking for work. Another article, Communication Skills and Your Career may also be helpful.

ADDitude's Coach On Call, Sandy Maynard, talks about what you should say in a job interview, including The 50 Most Common Questions Asked by Employers. Granted, the average manager at Burger King probably isn't going to into this much detail, but other potential employers may - especially if it's a job that has long-term potential.

Get Creative

Steven is a 16-year-old computer guru. He wanted to get a job in a computer repair shop, but there were no openings. He was just about to give up on the idea of spending the summer fixing computers when a friend of his mother's asked him if he could teach her how to send an email to her grandchildren.

Steven showed her what she needed to know. The grateful lady offered to pay him $25 for his trouble. She also told some of her friends about how helpful Steven had been, and soon there were other grandparents calling to ask for his help.

It didn't take long before Steven had a regular clientele of older people who wanted to learn to use a computer. Many of them also needed some basic repair and upgrades on their machines. Steven did what he was able to do and referred the major overhauls to the local repair shop.

At $25 per hour, Steven is making more by working for himself than most 16-year-olds could hope for - and he's having fun doing it.

Showing grandma how to send emails may not be your idea of a great way to spend your summer. But, with a little imagination, you can probably think of several other ideas for your own business. Here are some ideas to get your started:

  • The Big Cash Clean Up Your bedroom may look like a bomb went off, but getting paid to clean puts a new excitement into running a vacuum. People like having a clean home (or garage, or car, or you name it) but few are able to take the time to do it.
  • Mowing for Money The same thing applies to yards. People like to have neatly trimmed, well-watered, picture-perfect lawns, but most don't have the time or energy after working all week to work all day in the yard. You can make your town beautiful and make yourself a healthy summer income by meeting that need.
  • Cash in on Canines (or cats, or birds, or gerbils) People who have pets often need someone who can take care of their furry little friends while they're away. This might be a challenge for a person who has AD/HD because it requires being there every day. But, if you can manage to find a way to establish that routine, you can make a lot of money by baby sitting your neighbors' furry friends.
  • Speedy Delivery! If you have a bike and a pair of strong legs, why not open your own courier service? It's a great way to earn money and work on your tan at the same time.
  • What can you think of? These are only a few ideas. Use your imagination to come up with some more creative answers for your summer employment problem.

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TAGS: Summer for ADHD Kids, Teens and Tweens with ADHD, ADHD Career Paths

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