With being at school for six hours a day, exams and any clubs you might be part of finding time to earn money as a teenager or college student can be hard, and being perpetually skint (American translation: broke) is not fun. However, I have good news: there are plenty of ways you can earn cash while still being in high school or otherwise lacking the experience to take on a “real-world” job. Having a job is great not just because of the money but it also teaches you responsibility and how to communicate with people in a professional environment. And having money allows you to learn to budget and not blow all your money on that lipstick that looked great but broke on day two (yes, that might’ve been me). But after trying out many jobs, I have realized a simple truth: not all are created equal, and some are really, really bad. So to help you all out, I’ve compiled a list of jobs either I or someone I know has had them to help you find the right job for you.
5. Paper round
Let’s be honest, paper rounds are the worst. Delivering the local rag that nobody reads in sub-zero temperatures at the crack of dawn is not my idea of a good time. Plus, it is 5 AM and you are exhausted. You can either work weekdays or weekends, but both are equally bad. Would you rather be falling asleep during history on a weekday or sacrificing your precious weekend lie-in? It’s not a choice you want to make. The only reason anyone would endure this is the money and, in all honesty, the money is terrible. I’ve had tons of friends who have done this, and none of them have stuck at it for more than a couple of months. There are less painful ways to earn £12 ($17) a week.
4. Counter assistant
This is similar to waitressing, but involves more answering phones and talking to customers. One of my good friends does this and he loves it because he can earn £40 ($57) a day. But, as he works in a takeaway (read: takeout), there are a lot of angry drunk people. My advice is to smile and remember you are getting paid. This job is good because you have the potential to get paid a lot of money, as shifts can sometimes be as long or short as you want them to be. Just basically be helpful: carry things, take orders, find things, and you’ll be great. There’s also a wide variety of places you can do this, from coffee shops to newsagents, so it really works wherever you live.
This works if you’re good at a particular subject, or especially if you speak a second language — honestly, if you speak a second language, you are so employable. A couple of my friends speak Spanish and they taught classes to little kids and actually made a lot of money doing it. But again, if you’re really good at Maths or English or anything really, that could work, too. You can work for an organization or agency, or you can also do it just by yourself — which might be better because you don’t have to give someone else a percentage, though it does take more hours on your part. Arranging clients could be done by asking people you know, but you can also put up flyers or advertise online. Everyone’s mum’s on Facebook now, so just create a page for your classes and start putting information up and ask people you know to start sharing. The actual classes themselves usually last about an hour, and according to my friends who have tutored, the kids are usually nice and keen to learn.
2. Selling clothes online
This is a really nice and easy way to get some quick cash: just sell your old clothes that you wouldn’t use anyway and it really couldn’t be easier with apps like Vinted and eBay. It’s also nice to know that your much-loved clothes are being loved by someone else. If I’m being honest, this was partly inspired by Girlboss. It’s especially good if you like fashion and know how to sell things. Just sign up, take some photos, and you’re good to go.
1. Teaching sport
This job is great, as it’s both rewarding and earns decent money. Where I live, you only have to go to a course that lasts a couple of days before you can start. The course costs money, but companies are usually happy to pay the cost of the course — you pay them back by working for free until the cost has been covered. I taught kids swimming, and it was amazing to know that I was responsible for teaching them a life skill. Although I taught swimming, you can basically teach any sport. It’s great to be able to show others a sport you love and earn cash at the same time. I started earning £9 ($13) an hour, and it can easily go up to £12 ($17) with experience, so the money is pretty good — especially as the hours can easily suit a student schedule and you can pick up shifts whenever. It’s also a job you can take with you to university or beyond.
Kate is a usually broke 16-year-old high school student from Scotland. When she does have cash, she loves to go see movies and go out for pizza.
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