How Teens can Make the Most of Summer Jobs

4 min to read
Image of a smiling young female teen in a white suit coat working in an office environment extending her hand out for a handshake.

Statistics show that more teens are using their summer breaks to work, with nearly 40% of teens employed during the summer of 2021, making it the largest group since 2008. Whether it’s summer jobs for teens with no experience or a new job for your teen who works every summer, here are some tips to make the most out of summer jobs for teens.

How Teens can Make the Most of Summer Jobs

Build and Explore Career Skills

Summer jobs provide teens with a fantastic opportunity to explore different career paths and build skills. If your teen has no experience, they can use this summer job to learn the most they can about the field they are in.  

This can be the best time find future mentors and begin making connections that can open doors down the road. Encourage your student to get contact information from their managers and coworkers to use for future internships or job-shadowing experiences.

Enhance Communication Skills

With many teens communicating over text and apps, the days of having face-to-face conversations are dwindling. Summer jobs for teens can help them learn how to effectively communicate their ideas to colleagues and supervisors and actively listen to others. These are skills they can use throughout their careers and in their everyday lives.  

Develop Teamwork & Problem-Solving Skills

If their summer job involves working as part of a team or interacting with others in customer-service based jobs, your teen can use this experience to develop valuable teamwork and problem-solving skills. Teens can learn how to respect others and actively solve problems that may arise in the workplace. 

Set Goals

What does your teen want to accomplish with their summer job? Why are they choosing that specific job? What do they hope to get out of it by the time school starts again? By having goals in mind each day, your teen can not only have a better focus, but also take advantage of everything the job has to offer.  

For example, if your student wants to learn how to be a better leader, they may make it a goal to take on more responsibility when the chance arises or to work closely with their manager to see how they keep people working towards a unified goal. 

Learn Financial Responsibility

Summer jobs for teens provide an excellent opportunity to teach financial literacy. By teaching teens about money now, you can help lay the foundation for their future financial success.  

A summer job can help to teach these financial lessons:


Many teens are surprised to learn how much of their paychecks go to taxes. Explain to them that a percentage of the money they earn goes directly to the government. Show them how to read their paystub so they can see exactly where their deducted money is going.

Saving & Budgeting

If your teen is saving for a large expense like a car or college, help them decide how much of their paycheck will go toward that fund and how much they will use for spending money. This will quickly show them that they may have to ease up on the “fun money” if they truly want to build their savings.  

Build a Healthy Work Ethic

Teaching the importance of having a strong work ethic is something your teen can carry with them their entire lives. Instilling the importance of being on time and fully present while at work is extremely important when establishing a healthy work ethic. This includes not being distracted by text messages or social media while on the clock.

Part of creating a healthy work ethic is teaching your teen that their summer job comes with responsibility. They must fulfill their duties if they want to keep their job and their paycheck.

Teach Time Management Skills

Summer jobs help them to plan their work, create schedules, and how to allocate their time. Help them balance personal commitments and activities with the responsibility of a job. This instills discipline and can help them become more organized.  

By learning how to manage their time, they can figure out how to have a positive work/life balance that allows them to earn a paycheck while having fun.

Once your teen is hired for the summer, use these tips to help them make the most out of their seasonal experience and use their learned skills to propel into a successful career.


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