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You have researched the laws in your state and obtained a work permit if necessary (for information on work permits in your state click here), as well as put together your resume.

As you start to scour the internet for job opportunities, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. You ask yourself, “What is a good first job for a 16 year-old?”

This blog post will cover:

  • Deciding where to start your search
  • Good jobs at businesses for 16 year-olds
  • Good online and side jobs for 16 year-olds

For more on finding a job as a teenager, click here.

Deciding Where to Start Your Search

As you are considering what would be a good first job for you at age 16, it is a good idea to think about a few things that will ultimately help direct your search.

  • What do you enjoy doing and where do you spend your spare time?
  • How do you work best?
  • What informal work experience do you have?
  • What job would you like to do?

The key to liking your job is for it to involve something you enjoy. As you consider where to apply for your first formal job, think about what it is that you like to do.

If you love movies, for example, working at a movie theater might be an ideal option for you. You may already spend a lot of time at movie theaters and you would certainly appreciate any discount offered.

Do you enjoy playing a sport? Opportunities may be available to referee the games played by younger kids. Or you can consider working in a sports store.

When thinking about how you work best, consider if you like working more independently or as part of a team. Do you prefer to receive clear goals to work toward and regular feedback? Do you prefer a lot of variety in your work or more repetitive tasks?

Understanding how you work best will bring good insight into what jobs are best for you to pursue.

Take some time to think about what job you would like to do. You will want to be realistic about your education and experience. For example, you might want to be a veterinarian, however without having gone to veterinary school, the job of a veterinarian would not be available to you.

However if you realize that working with animals is appealing to you, it would be a good idea to pursue work at a pet store, animal shelter or veterinary office.

Good Jobs at Businesses for 16 Year-Olds

At the age of 16, there are plenty of businesses that will be open to hiring you. Age requirements will vary from place to place, however with a work permit (if required in your state) opportunities are often available for 16 year-olds at grocery stores, movie theaters, retail stores and restaurants.

Think back to the questions mentioned above. Suppose, when you asked yourself how you work best, you realized that you enjoy being busy and feel like you would do well in a fast-paced environment. Restaurant work may be a great option for you.

When you thought about the informal work you have done, you are reminded of how much time you spent cleaning and maintaining your neighbor’s yards. And you realize you enjoy being outside. Perhaps work at a landscaping company would be a good fit.

Once you decide what options seem like a good fit for you, the next step is to begin searching for jobs that are most suitable.

This does not mean that you rule out all other options; these will just be the jobs that you will pursue first. If you have determined that restaurant work is the best fit, you can choose to start your job search for opportunities in restaurants.

As you begin your search, whether for a job in a restaurant or other business, you can look online at individual websites or on websites that advertise job opportunities.

You can also personally visit places where you would be interested in working. In some cases, there will be a sign in the business advertising that the business is hiring. Even if there is no job opportunity posted, you can go into the business and ask if the business is hiring.

While many businesses offer applications online, it is a great idea to submit your application in person. You can ask to speak with a manager when you turn your application in, allowing you the opportunity to stand out from the stacks of online applications the manager has received.

Turning in your application in person will also give you the chance to learn the identity of someone involved in the decision-making, as well as to obtain information on the hiring process and when to best follow up.

For more information on applying for a job in person, click here.

Good Online and Side Jobs for 16 Year-Olds

When you asked yourself how you work best, you may have concluded that you do well when working independently. If this is the case, an online or side job might be an ideal option for you.

Online jobs allow you to earn money on your own schedule from your home computer. One option is creating websites or blogs. With a little effort, businesses and individuals will be willing to hire you to build or maintain their website or blog.

Creating websites and blogs may sound intimidating, but there are pre-designed templates that you can use to get started. Patience and creativity are the key skills you need to be successful in this area. Think about offering to create your first few websites or blogs for minimal cost or for free.

After having designed a few websites or blogs, you can include these as a part of your portfolio. This will help you to attract additional business. And your clients can give good references.

You may also consider designing a website or blog for yourself around an interest that you have. You can learn how to drive traffic to your site and how to earn money by doing so.

If you like to write, online freelance writing is a flexible way to earn an income. Freelance sites like Upwork.com and Fiverr.com provide a place to build a profile and apply for short and long term writing jobs. Many of the jobs require you to write for existing websites and blogs.

Pay for freelancing will vary. It is helpful to offer to write for a low rate of pay initially in order to earn business. You can then raise your rate as you gain experience.

If you are bilingual, translating documents is another way to earn money. Upwork.com offers translating opportunities. You can look at available opportunities and apply for jobs you are comfortable with.

These are just a few of the jobs that you can do online. For more information and opportunities, click here.

You may want to work independently while spending time with people. If that is the case, you might want to consider a side job, where you can set your own hours and be your own boss while meeting the needs of your clients.

Tutoring is a great way to earn money and feel like you are making a difference for someone. You can set you own schedule and tutor the topics you are comfortable with.

Another option is to offer homework help services for elementary school kids. Many parents will appreciate having someone spend an hour or so with their kids one or two days each week.

Rates for tutoring and homework help can start at $10 per hour and you can negotiate an increase as the child improves their grades.

An errand services is another great option for a side job. If you don’t have a car, you can take your bike or walk to stores, helping clients with grocery shopping, trips to the post office, holiday shopping, etc. If you provide great service, your clients will refer you to their friends.

Perhaps you have worked with animals or always wanted to. Consider pet sitting and dog walking. This is a great service for people that love their pets and want to be sure they are cared for when they are out of town (or even at work for the day). You can charge a rate per visit or walk.

For more information on side jobs click here.

At the age of 16, there are plenty of opportunities available to you in order to earn money. Taking the time to consider what opportunities are best for you will help guide you on where to first focus you job search efforts.

So, what do you think about good first jobs for 16 year-olds?  Do you agree with what was said above?  Comment below to let us know!

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