14-yr.old Wants a Job

Updated on June 01, 2010
M.T. asks from Richmond, VA
14 answers

My 14-yr old. daughter wants to work. I applaud her and want to help her find a job, but I don't know where to start. Can anybody help me out, please? Thank you.

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answers from Washington DC on

Not many places will hire a 14 year old because of child labor laws so I'd start small like with babysitting and go from there. Good for her!

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answers from Washington DC on

At 14 she'll need a work permit. You should be able to get one from the county govt. My first job was as a bagger in a grocery store. That wasn't too bad,and I worked with other kids from school. I would avoid fast food places like Burger King/McDs/etc. Those places lose their appeal quickly. Does she have anything that she likes to do?

Here is a link from the Prince William county site on some options for 14 year olds.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

It is possible for 14 and 15 year olds to work for very retricted amounts of time in a number of restricted types of businesses if they have the proper permit.

Your school guidance counselor can provide forms to fill out to obtain a work permit for your daughter that will allow employment. Her potential employer will need to fill out the form, too, stating exactly what kind of work she will be required to perform. This, of course, means that she needs to talk an employer into hiring her before she fills out the permit. :)

If you are home schooling, the guidance counselor at the public high school for which you are zoned will be able to provide the forms and answer questions.

We use a number of 15-year-olds here at The Party Fairy because they love to dress up as characters and help out at the birthday parties we stage for children. We are required by law to give them 30-minute breaks after each few hours that they work, and the times that they work are restricted. Weekends are fine.

I would tell you to come see us, but I do not have any openings right now.

One other option I wanted to mention is that I often see fliers in my mailbox from enterprising young girls who set up a summer pet-sitting or dog-walking or dog-grooming service for the neighborhood. Babysitting is always an option, too.

Good luck to your daughter.



answers from Charlottesville on

I got a job at Burger King when I was 14. I did have to get a workers permit from my school office. My Mom called the local Burger King and spoke to the manager. He interviewed us together since she would have to drive me to work and then they hired me right away. Probably any fast food resturant would be a good start.



answers from Washington DC on

Babysitting or dog-sitting/walking! I made tons of money when I was that age. I save $1000 over a summer!



answers from Norfolk on

A paper route is always a good first job, it's pretty easy but requires discipline which is great for the next job she may want.



answers from Dover on

I would try your local bowling alley or skating rink. My first job was at the snack bar of the skating rink & I think I was 14 or 15 then.



answers from Roanoke on

I worked at a grocery store (in Blacksburg) while in college. I was a cashier and we had 14 yr old baggers. They do need a permit and their hours are limited. They fit in fine. I always thought what a great first job they had. They usually work after 4 pm for a few hours during the week and the school year, during the summer they can work during the day. Being in Blacksburg, a small town community, there were a lot of "kids"- (high schoolers), working at the grocery store. They were all well behaved and worked hard for the most part, they were goofy sometimes too :)



answers from Washington DC on

First, if you haven't done so already, find out the minimum working age. It varies from state to state, I think. Then, if things are still the same as when I was that age, she will need to get a work permit. They used to give them out at school (from the office), but I don't know if this is still the case. I'm sure you can look this info. up online. Fast food places are a good place to start filling out applications.



answers from Washington DC on

most companies can't employ under 15 so that's out. Baby sitting put ad in paper.



answers from Washington DC on

Babysitting is a great first job.

Are you members of a local pool? My niece babysits at the pool. Currently she watches my son on Tues. for a few hours at the pool for $6 an hour. I think she has two other families she works for on other days. Not a bad deal for her; make money, easy babysitting at the pool and still gets to work on her tan.

If you don't feel she's ready for babysitting, she can always try being a mommy's helper (helping with the children while the mother is home. )

Good luck. I applaud her initiative.



answers from Washington DC on

I must say that I don't like most of the answers I'm seeing. I, too, am a Mom of a 14 year old, who is an honor student in an International Baccalaureate program.

I do NOT permit babysitting for strangers. Nowadays, you can't be too careful. You don't know who will have a key to the stranger's house -- Uncle Joe who is a registered sex offender, or some teenage boy with raging hormones... No, Thank You. Also, any time that a child is alone in someone's house, there is an issue of liability. What if someone says that her diamond necklace is missing and blames your child (who would not DREAM of stealing)? What if the baby falls and gets badly hurt, no matter how well your child supervises? I allow my daughter to "babysit" for free for some close friends whose kids are almost my daughter's age, but who are scared to be alone if their parents must go out for a few hours. These are adoptive families who have been homestudied, who have security clearances, and who have traveled with us to China. They do lots of favors for us, and we are glad to reciprocate.

I put pet sitting for strangers in the same category as babysitting, with a few more caveats. In most cases, the child has to have a key to the person's house, which brings up all kinds of liability -- as mentioned before, sexual predators, accusations of theft, etc. And, of course, there are some concerns about whether an animal is aggressive or sick. My daughter used to ride horses and has been thrown multiple times; she is also very accustomed to dealing with our own very exuberant, but dog-aggressive, Airedale. She is absolutely terrific with animals and displays very good sense. But I'm NOT going to let her care for some unknown cat or dog who may be vicious or diseased. And I DON'T go by breed; we know some pit bulls and Rottweilers that are as sweet as can be, and we both have had exposure to two golden retrievers who were truly dangerous animals.

As to paper routes, kids on bikes don't deliver papers in big cities anymore. In our area, you have to have a car and be able to drive around to the various condo buildings between 3 and 4 a.m. There need to be two people in the car, generally -- one to drive and stay with the car, and one to hop out, go into the buildings, and drop papers at the right doors. 14 year olds just won't qualify; Mom is too busy with her own career to drive, and child gets up at 5 to go to school, after studying till midnight, like my daughter does.

Many of the fast food places attract a rather unsavory clientele; I certainly don't want my very attractive daughter working in a place where she is likely to attract undesirable attention. She is a vegetarian, by her own choice (I am not, though I am supportive of her beliefs) and doesn't even EAT in such places.

Around here, the camp jobs, like Counselor in Training (CIT) positions, always give priority to kids who have previously been campers there. My daughter spent 2 weeks at an overnight camp once, and enjoyed it, but that certainly doesn't give her an "in" at the expensive out of state facility. The riding stables give jobs to kids who take lessons and want to defray part of the cost; we can not afford lessons at this time, even with some of the cost defrayed. And my daughter is not involved in sports, so she cannot coach.

My daughter has volunteered as a clerical worker in an animal shelter -- they don't let her NEAR the animals, alas, because of her age. She has also done clerical work for a middle school that did not have enough classes at her level, after she switched from a private school; the only solution that the school could find was letting her spend first period every day putting messages in teachers' mailboxes, greeting visitors, answering phones, and so on. She will probably volunteer at a local hospital next year, the first year she is eligible, because of her age. So she really doesn't need more volunteer work.

Becca plans to be a vet or a psychiatrist. She would have liked to work in a medical or veterinary setting, but that is not possible because of her age. At this point, she would take almost any job that I approved and that would give her some extra spending money and some money to put aside for college. She loves fashion, and would enjoy work in a department store or mall shop. She reads voraciously and would be happy working in a bookstore or the public library (the latter has a hiring freeze because the county is in a financial crisis). She tried the various chain stores that sell pet supplies. And so on. She has gotten discouraged, and I must say that, when I have tried to help her by looking, I have been discouraged, too.

My daughter's friends have the same complaint that she does -- except for a few who simply count on their parents to meet all their needs and think that teen jobs are unnecessary. A few have gotten jobs through "contacts" -- like helping out in a relative's law office. We don't happen to have those contacts, and I personally don't think that such jobs usually teach a child much about how the work world operates. The relative rarely complains if the child slacks off, and rarely challenges the child to grow in his/her skills. I think that a teen job ought to be won through an application process, just like a real job, and should set the same standards of responsibility and professionalism.

Does anyone have any "real world" ideas for a child in my daughter's situation? It is NOT true that 14 year olds aren't allowed to work in anything except babysitting and similar occupations. Maryland law -- and Maryland is considered quite strict -- allows 14 year olds to work up to 40 hours a week when school is NOT in session, though the work cannot be undertaken before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. and cannot be in certain hazardous occupations. The business must allow a 30 minute break after 5 hours of work. A work permit is necessary, but easy to obtain.

Most companies do not hire 14 year olds for one of three reasons. First, some worry about liability -- the child who is hurt when a tower of dog food cans falls on him, for example. Others worry that a child may not be capable enough to do the job, and may hurt their business by making a mistake at the cash register or answering a phone rudely. Still others worry that, if they hire based on competence, rather than age, they will be accused of discrimination, so they won't take a chance on a 14 year old who is as mature as a 16 year old, because the parents of other 14 year olds could complain.

Frankly, I see 14 year olds every day who have a good work ethic, who may have helped out at a parent's business, who read and do math at a level that many adults cannot achieve, and who are well-behaved and have common sense. I am horrified that these kids cannot have the opportunity to earn money and learn skills that would be beneficial, no matter what career they pursue.




answers from Washington DC on

Also consider volunteering. I don't know if the money is what she is excited about or the experience. I worked with emotionally challenged kids at a small private school and I was a candy Sstriper at the hospital. Both I enjoyed more than any paying job I had, and I learned a lot of skills that prepared me for "real" jobs, plus the philanthropic aspect helped on my college applications.

Also look at small businesses where she might get a little more mentorship than managment. I worked at a florist and a bagel store when I was in high school - neither were big chains but traditional New York mom and pop stores. Conversely, I also worked at IKEA in the ballpit of all places in college.

Encourage her to think about what skills would be helpful to learn rather than what stores are cool to work at. At the bagel store and florist I did register work, as a candy striper I mostly did receptionist work, and the others were child care.

Of course, a clothing store, if she is old enough might be good for the discount, but be cautious of location - do you really want your 14 year old hanging out at the mall at all hours?

And be really careful of babysitting, I can't imagine letting my children be watched by someone that age. A mother's helper is more appropriate and she could take a babysitter's cpr class.

Also, consider the library. Pretty calm environment, would encourage her to check out some books and return them on time, and is a mature position.

Another tip, most of the jobs I had I got because I pounded the pavement, wrote a resume, and went in cold and asked if they had work, when I was 14-17ish.



answers from Norfolk on

Hey M.!

I commend you for helping her. At 14, she could sell jewelry under you...I am a representative for a VERY generous jewelry company Jewels By Park Lane. This is something you could do together that could turn into a 6 figure income! It is only $5.00 to start this month. If you click on my other responses you can read more about it.

My manager started working in direct sell under her mom at 14. It is a wonderful learning experience. Even Brian Tracy told his college graduated son to start out in direct sells. He quickly earned more than he would have if he had started at the bottom with any other career. This is NO Inventory Investment. I would not advise you to go in debt to start a business especially considering her age.

Call me if you like to chat more about it.

T. (or Mz T)

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