16? You Should Get a Job

By Sam Berns
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Getting a job when you're 16 is a good idea even if your parents are rich. But it’s an especially good idea if your parents are not rich.

More cash, more experience, more self-confidence

Beyond the obvious benefit of earning money, getting and keeping a job shows maturity and it builds experience and self confidence. No matter the job, you learn valuable work skills like getting along with your colleagues, your boss and dealing with customers. Those skills will serve you for the rest of your career.

Set yourself up for an even better job

If you start young and do a good job, you can get a raise, a promotion or use your previous work experience to land a better job. So by the time you turn 18, not only will have 2 years worth of part-time income but you’ll also be making more money than those just entering the job market because you will have had more experience.

Where to look for jobs

For your first job, you can apply directly with the employer. Create a résumé, dress up nicely and go to your local grocery store, restaurant or retail business and ask them if you can have an employment form. Ask for two forms in case you mess up the first one. If the manager is there, he or she might interview you on the spot which is great, that’s why it’s a good idea to have a résumé with you just in case.

Don’t go on a Saturday when they are really busy, they won’t have much time to talk to you. If you go during a quiet evening you can ask them more questions about the job and what it’s like to work there.

Start your own business

The other option is to start your own business. You can start a lawn care, babysitting, car wash or snow removal business to name a few. Basically something that doesn’t require much investment or rent. You can create and distribute some flyers and if you do a good job, you’ll get more clients from your current clients who refer you to their friends.

What to do with all that money

Spend a bit on yourself for stuff like lunch money and other necessities but make sure you save half of what you make.

Did you know if you start saving $1,000 a year at 8% interest when you’re 16, you will have $238,941 when you turn 55?

You don’t have to wait until you 55 but when you save money you earn a lot more with interest. That lets you buy bigger things like a college education, a car or a home. You can’t do those things if you can’t save money.

One last thing

Say you start saving at 18 instead of 16, instead of ending up with $238,941 when you turn 55, you will end up with only $203,070. See what difference two years can make?

One last last thing

Don't work more than 15 hours a week. School should be your first priority. Plus you need some time to have a bit of fun too!
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