Tech, Now + Beyond

5 opportunities that are absolutely perfect for your first job

School's over, and now it's time to find that first job. And we're here to help!

I still remember the day I first began babysitting. I had wanted to do it for years, but based on our living situation, my parents wanted me to wait till we moved, before I could start babysitting. The feeling of being a freshman in high school and being gifted the responsibility that comes with babysitting was pretty fantastic, and I will always consider my four years of babysitting and being a nanny constantly as one of my favorite jobs ever.

If you’re in high school, or even college, and are looking for a good part-time job to earn a little extra money, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, in my opinion, it’s always better to enjoy the first job you ever have, as that working experience will pave the way for future ones. So here are some first jobs that will make you money, and give you experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.

1. Babysitting

You probably guessed I would name this one. But if you’re someone young who has never had a job before, and if you love children, a lot can be said about being a babysitter.

First off, it’s fun. Playing games and watching some of your favorite childhood movies are great ways to spend the day. You also can make a life long connection. I know people who still talk to the families that they babysat when they were younger. The bond you build with the family leads to trust, great recommendations and a home away from home.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about taxes or anything, and you’re paid based on what the family wants to pay you. It’s a wonderful all-around situation.

2. A summer camp job

If your first job happens to be in the summer, and if you meet the age requirements for whichever camp you want to work at, summer camp jobs are honestly the most amazing experience ever. I’ve worked at the same summer camp for years now, and though it wasn’t my first job, it was still a job that has changed my life and has helped me meet great new friends. You get paid to hang outside and to live in a gorgeous location. What more could want?

3. Foodservice

I have worked in food service more than any other job on this list. My first job was at McDonald’s (yes I know…) and during the school year, I work at a late night dining facility on my college campus. Though you may not get paid as much as you do when compared to babysitting, and you won’t be outdoors as much as you’d be with a summer camp job, but food service is still great; you get to make some money, get your foot in the door for future employment, and to even learn how to cook some things along the way. Food service isn’t easy (believe me, it isn’t in anyway) but the lessons in customer service and prioritization that I have learned from it have honestly been so incredibly valuable.

4. Retail

Going back to customer service, nothing will teach you about being kind to others as much as any sort of customer service job will. I have worked in retail before, and much like with food service, you will encounter rude and downright mean customers. However, these customers will teach you a lot. Furthermore, if you’re working somewhere that specializes in something you enjoy (like outdoor retail or a music store, etc.) then you’ll get to sell stuff that you love, and potentially get good deals on it in the future.

5. Pet/House Sitting

If you’re an animal lover, what could be more fun than taking care of a person’s dog while they’re away? If you’re not an animal lover, taking care of a house is fun too! It’s another great way to make some extra money, while not having to worry about taxes or long work weeks, and you get to make connections with great people.

Looking for your first job can be scary – but if you find one that is fun and valuable, you will carry the lessons you learn from it throughout the rest of your life.