What kinds of jobs do kids do? Who pays them? What kind of job would you like to do?
In this lesson, you will make a list of the kinds of jobs and businesses kids might pursue, pick the one you'd most like to do, and make a plan on how to get started.
If you want to work after school or over the summer, there are lots of things you can do. You can sell products, provide services, work for others, volunteer, or start your own businesses. Think more specifically about the jobs you can think of that kids can do. There are many possibilities, such as delivering papers and mowing lawns. What do your older brothers and sisters do to make money? Take out a piece of paper and make a list of everything you can think of.
When you are finished, get together with your classmates and combine all your lists into one big list. Let's call this the "master list".
In order to get a job or start a business, there has to be someone out there to hire you, or to pay you for the goods or services you are providing. These people fall into three major categories.
Employers: An employer has a business and hires you to do work for that business. Employers pay you for your labor.
Clients: You have a business in which you offer a service, and clients pay you to provide that service.
Customers: You offer to sell some sort of good, and customers buy that good from you.
Take a look at the master list of jobs and businesses.
- Which jobs require employers? Customers? Clients?
- Are there any that fit into more than one category?
- Are there any that don't fit well into any category?
Getting a job or having a successful business means getting connected with those who will pay you for your labor, goods, or services.
- How would you get a job from an employer?
- How would you find clients interested in paying you for the services your business provides?
- How would you find customers who want to purchase the goods you wish to sell?
Take another look at the master list of jobs. Pick the one you think you would most like to do.
- Who is the source of income for your chosen job or business (employers, clients, or customers)?
- How will you connect with this source of income?
- Will you use more than one strategy?
Planning your strategy involves a lot of words that start with the letter "A." Will you:
- Apply for a job you have seen in the want ads?
- Ask a prospective employer to hire you for a job that was not listed?
- Advertise the services you are offering with your business, using flyers or posters, going door to door, etc.?
- Approach possible clients or customers to tell them about the goods or services you are offering?
Now you are ready to plan your strategy.
Complete the Job Planner Activity.
Don't forget, if you plan to get a job or start a business, you will have to get your parent's permission to start working. Tell them your plan, and show them your strategy. Chances are, they will be very proud of you. Who will be paying for your work? Will it be an employer, a client, or a customer? Who will determine how you get paid, and how much? If you run your own business (perhaps providing a good or service to a neighbor), do you get to determine your own income? Is that an advantage? Are you looking forward to doing your job? One thing you may find is that money you have earned yourself usually seems more valuable than money that was given to you!
Print out your responses to the Job Planner Activity and be prepared to discuss them in class.
The U.S. Department of Labor's kid's page
provides a wealth of information on youth employment. Check the subtopics for information on newspaper delivery, rules on door-to-door sales, child labor laws, and more.
The Bureau of Labor Statistic's Kid's page
provides lots of great information about a wide variety of jobs and careers kids might pursue. Choose your area of interest and explore!
Kids working in a town in Colorado have sparked a controversy on child labor. Read more about it in this article
. Your teacher may ask you to debate the issues raised in this article.
The decisions we make involve costs and benefits. As adults, people generally need to work to earn money, because money is required to buy the things we need in life. As children, it is great to earn money if you can, but school is also a responsibility, and it is important to devote adequate time to your studies. Finding the right balance is important, to ensure that you have enough time to learn as well as earn. In the past, before child labor laws, some children worked long hours, often in difficult conditions, and often at the expense of school and learning. To learn more and to see some photographs of these children and the places where they worked, visit The History Place