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Great Summer Jobs YOU Can Create

Updated on April 25, 2012
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Find a Summer Job

The challenge of finding a summer job is harder than ever as the competition that once consisted of other high school and college students now includes your parents and grandparents. After all, you might be better at flipping burgers than little Billy who lives down the street, but grandpa has spent years behind the grill - there is no way you could compete with him for that job at McDonald's.

It gets even worse, because the of extreme competition, many great paying summer jobs are being filled by January and February. If you forget to apply early on, you don't have much of a chance at all.

What's a young person (or older person needing work during the summer) to do?

Fortunately for you, all is not lost! And you have come to the right place to discover how to make money during the summer. There are a variety of things you can do to make money in your free time.

If you can't find a job that you like, then now is the perfect time to CREATE YOUR OWN JOB to make some money for the summer. Who knows, maybe you can even turn your summer job into a business that keeps making you money.


What is the most important thing you will gain from a summer job?

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What is the Purpose of a Summer Job?

The purpose of a summer job is to make money! Duh.

Or is it?

Yes, making money is an important element of a summer job, but there are some other important things to consider before taking, or starting, the first job that is available.

Many people spend their entire lives doing something they do not enjoy because they believe that the only purpose of a job is to make money. If you avoid this habit while still young, it will prevent you from living a miserable life focused entirely on the paycheck (or how little it is).

There are three elements that you need to consider, besides for money, when starting a job or a business that determine whether it is valuable enough to be worth your time.

1. Is it Fun?

Will you enjoy the work that you are required to do? If you are going to be working for $8/hr doing a job that you absolutely hate, then you are suggesting that your time is not that valuable at all. In fact, you should never do something that you hate simply for a paycheck - no matter how much money you will make. After all, you are worth far more than $8/hr, $50/hr, or even $1000/hr. Make money while living life, don't live life simply to make money.

2. Are You Learning?

The Rich Dad Poor Dad books suggest that you should "Work to learn, not to earn". If you are learning from your work, then your time is infinitely more valuable. If you are only working for a minimum wage paycheck, without learning, you will always be working for a minimum wage paycheck.

It may even be a smarter idea to take a job for NO MONEY, but provides you with valuable experience, then to work for a job that provides you minimal money and no education.

3. Are You Benefiting Society?

You only live once, so what kind of legacy do you want to leave? There are thousands of causes that need help. Even if the job you take is not focused on eliminating problems in the world, make sure that you believe it is of value. If you believe in something, you are willing to put in the extra time and energy to make it succeed. My most valuable experiences have been serving others for minimal money. Many of the people I know who are making the biggest difference in the world are doing the same thing.

Before doing any work MAKE SURE that the way you are going to spend your time is valuable to you. Value comes from a combination of the above three benefits.


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Jobs You Can Start on Your Own

Now that we understand it is important to do work that actually creates value for us, let's start looking at some opportunities to actually make money. Some of these will start you making a decent amount of money right away, others may take some time to build up an income.

Detail Cars

I had a friend who started doing this in high school and did it all through college because he would make far more detailing cars than any other summer job he could find. Although it took him a while to learn how to do it quickly, after some practice he was able to make $25-$50/hr by simply cleaning cars.

What you will do: Google search how to polish/buff cars and purchase the necessary supplies. Also, consider what you would need to clean the inside of a car (Windex, and paper towels, maybe a small vacuum). You can then charge people for detailing the outside and/or the inside of their vehicles while they are at home or at work. When you show up at their door to clean their cars, they don't have to go out of the way to stop somewhere - saving them time and money that they will be willing to pass on to you.

How to get started: It's important to know that you will do a good job. Start by practicing on your own car or close friends vehicles. Getting a clean, smooth, shine from buffing a car is something that can take some practice - make sure you have it down before trying to make money from it. Next, offer discounts or free services to get people interested. If you do a good job they will pass along your information to others.You could end up making several hundred dollars a day while your friends are making $80 flipping burritos.

Visit Auctions/Garage Sales and Sell on eBay

There are many people who will sell their "junk" for incredibly cheap. If you know that their junk is worth more than they are selling it for, you can purchase it and sell it yourself. Although this used to take some time and research, it can now be done pretty easily using a smartphone.

What you will do: Go to yard sales and find stuff that people don't want any longer. Purchase it from them and sell it for more online. Spend some time studying how to present items well on eBay and you will be making money in no time.

How to get started: If you have a phone with an internet connection, this is very easy. Simply go to the garage sale, search for the specified items on your phone, and discover how much you can sell them for. If you do not have a smartphone, you may need to focus in on several items that you can become familiar with - otherwise items may be sold before you have the chance to research them. REMEMBER!!! You will have to charge for shipping as well. If it looks like you could make $5 on an item, but shipping costs $6, you will loose money. Check the shipping charges.

Do Yard Work

Summer is a time when everyone is needing their lawns mowed, bushes trimmed, and gardens maintained. If you enjoy spending some time getting a tan and building muscle - while getting paid - this may be the perfect job for you.

What you will do: Bring your own equipment to someone's house to take care of their lawns and yards, remove brush, and any other odd jobs they might need done to make their houses look spectacular. You can charge per hour or per job and end up making $20-$40 an hour (minus expenses).

How to get started: Make sure you have access to the equipment that you will need, such as weed whackers and lawn mowers. Once you start finding clients, they will need you to stop by every week - so business keeps returning to you! Additionally, if you do a great job, they will promote you to friends and the neighbors will notice the great work you are doing.

Do Odd Jobs

Summer is a time when people paint, build, and repair all sorts of things. If you have a knack for fixing things, if you are good with a paint brush, or if you have a truck that can be used to hull junk, then you may be able to make money doing random jobs for people.

What you will do: Build, repair, paint, transport. Focus on a niche that you can specialize in, and begin working! You may be able to make a good $20/hour if you do your work well.

How to get started: Make sure you are good at a specific job or work with someone who is talented for a while to learn. Once you have mastered the art, start promoting things yourself. You will soon be making all kinds of contacts that will help you stay in business and find more clients.

Write Articles Online and Create YouTube Videos

Although this is much less likely to make you a lot of money during a summer, it does allow you to produce a passive income - allowing you to make a small amount of money for the rest of your life. Additionally, there are a good number of people who produce videos or write articles and make thousands of dollars a month because people LOVE their material.

What you will do: If you enjoy writing, you can make money writing articles on sites such as HubPages, where you are paid when people read your articles. With this you would find interesting topics that people would enjoy reading, write articles, and then share them on your social networking and other sites. The more people read, the more you make. If you prefer making videos, you can post them on YouTube and, once you have one video that receives 40,000 views, you can start making money from advertisements on your videos - some people are making six figures from YouTube videos.

How to get started:To get started you will need to create an account with HubPages or YouTube, find material to produce, and start producing. Remember, this takes a lot of work and you will be making very little at first. However, as you continue creating content, you will make more and more. Additionally, you will keep making money for the rest of your life from the advertising brought in!


How to Keep Business Coming Back

The second hardest thing to do when running your own business is getting customers. The hardest thing to do is keeping them. If you can keep your customers returning time and time again, you don't have to worry about getting as many new ones. Additionally, a customer that loves your services will keep telling others about how great you are - providing you with even more business.

The key word that you need to remember in business is integrity. Nothing is as important as your name. When people think of you and your work, what comes to mind? Do they think of someone who gets the job done, does it well, and charges a fair price, or do they think of someone who does a poor job for too much money? It is essential to do the best that you can, even when no one is looking.

Some summers you may not want to work. But for the rest, I hope that these tips help to get you started.

Do you know of other great summer job ideas? Do you know of more tips to help those looking for summer work find it successfully? I would love to see your comments and suggestions below.

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    • Robert Erich profile image
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      Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

      Thanks for the comment step2cs. I agree, it is true that sometimes we must work - whether we want to or not. However, what I suggest by this is that there should be a way to find work that you enjoy and find meaningful. Especially for kids who are young and likely have parents helping them out some, this is the time to experiment and take risks with ideas that could provide more learning than they might actually provide paycheck.

    • step2cs profile image

      Douglas Lieth 4 years ago from NYC

      I like the article, but this line isn't the best advice - "In fact, you should never do something that you hate simply for a paycheck " - In my experience, not everyone has families who can support them when they are not working and sometimes you just need to pay the bills and do what you can.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Excellent ideas., Got my first summer job when i was 9 years old selling church books :))

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Thank you all for your posts. I certainly hope this helps many young workers as the summer starts out!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Yup, good advice here. This hub will be valuable for lots of people who are getting ready to get into the summer grind. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Great ideas Robert! Sharing this on twitter! Take care, Kelley

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      These sound like good summer jobs for college and high school kids, too. Voted up and shared!

    • MsLofton profile image

      MsLofton 5 years ago from IL

      This is great! I definitely believe in creating your own work!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      These are good ideas for young people Robert. With stiff competition, creating your own job is another alternative they may not have yet considered!

    • mbwalz profile image

      MaryBeth Walz 5 years ago from Maine

      Great advice as it really is competitive for young people these days!

    • livingpah2004 profile image

      Milli 5 years ago from USA

      Perfect timing. Students are looking the summer job and it`s hard to find these days. I am sharing this with my followers and on facebook. Great Hub. Very Useful and Voted up!

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Hi gogogo! Firstly, what an awesome name. Secondly, thanks for sharing and I just shared your article about the 7 new wonders of the world. Great read and I will certainly have to strive to visit them!

    • profile image

      gogogo 5 years ago

      Hi, read your hub about sharing and just shared your "Great summer jobs you can create" with my followers. I enjoyed both articles

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      That's awesome Phil! I wish more people from my generation had great jobs stories like that. Some of us have worked for a long time, but many have played video games instead. 15 lawns would be an amazing summer pay check!

      Thanks for your comments and insight.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      When I was in my early teens (I think I actually started when I was 11), I found a neighbour who had his own lawn mower, and I managed to get him to pay me to mow his lawn using his lawn mower for the season. After the first, I managed to build my customer base doing the same thing, and at my peak I had 15 lawns I was responsible for, always using the home owners lawnmower. This worked really well for me.

      Great hub voted up and useful.

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Thanks alocsin. I wrote this article after speaking with several people struggling to find summer work. I hope that it at least gives people some tips to get started in brainstorming activities for the summer.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I think you have some excellent ideas here for young people to start making money. Will forward this to some of my teen relatives. Voting this Up and Useful.