First Job for a Teen

  • February 16, 2017
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

It’s natural for teens to develop independence. This often takes the form of getting a job so they can make their own money. The first job for a teen provides the perfect platform to discuss their financial goals. Is your teen ready for his or her first job? Here’s a quick list of some pros and cons:


  • Gain experience in how to search and interview for jobs.
  • Learn to multitask.
  • Develop independence.
  • Gain financial awareness.
  • Ability to contribute toward personal expenses.
  • Learn new social skills.
  • Gain experience in a profession.


  • Not managing their time can lead to lower grades.
  • Long hours, late nights.
  • They may enjoy their job and paycheck so much that they want to change their education plans.

If you decide that your teen is ready to work, help them decide what type of job is best for them. Have them write a list of strengths and weaknesses. Also have them think about careers they may be interested in. Teens need to understand what their future employers are looking for, so provide them with guidance.

Summer Jobs

Consider starting your teens out with a summer job. This is helpful because they can slowly develop a work ethic without putting schoolwork at risk. They can take on work hours during the school year if and when you feel they are ready.


Self-employment is another option for teens. Examples include babysitting, lawn mowing, elder assistance, or a paper route. These can also be a great start, because you and your teen can control the number of hours they work and how much they earn. With this option however, be sure to speak to a tax professional so you are aware of the tax rules and laws for a self-employed teenager.

Be sure to encourage your teen to participate in research during the entire process, from choosing the appropriate job, to managing their income, to filing their taxes. Allow them to make the major decisions, so they can get the most out of this milestone in their young lives.