Teenagers & Summer Jobs

aya28ga

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Heard an interview today saying that under 30% of teenagers hold any kind of summer job today, down from 60% 40 years ago. The main reasons given were most kids today are focusing on higher schooling / internships, and older retired workers taking the part time jobs traditionally filled by teenagers.

I remember as a kid always having a job (mostly farm work), when I wasn't in school, and most of my friends worked too. It was just expected of us, if we wanted to have any spending money of our own, we had to earn it.

What say you? Did you work as a teenager and if so, doing what? And are the young people in your family today holding summer jobs?

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Rubline

Eight Pointer
Heard an interview today saying that under 30% of teenagers hold any kind of summer job today, down from 60% 40 years ago. The main reasons given were most kids today are focusing on higher schooling / internships, and older retired workers taking the part time jobs traditionally filled by teenagers.

I remember as a kid always having a job (mostly farm work), when I wasn't in school, and most of my friends worked too. It was just expected of us, if we wanted to have any spending money of our own, we had to earn it.

What say you? Did you work as a teenager and if so, doing what? And are the young people in your family today holding summer jobs?

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I mowed yards, worked at a golf course and helped my Grandparents with tobacco for two summers.
I worked summers from age 13 till graduating high school.
After high school I worked for a tobacco company during the summer before my freshman year in college.
 

NCST8GUY

Frozen H20 Guy
Heard an interview today saying that under 30% of teenagers hold any kind of summer job today, down from 60% 40 years ago. The main reasons given were most kids today are focusing on higher schooling / internships, and older retired workers taking the part time jobs traditionally filled by teenagers.

I remember as a kid always having a job (mostly farm work), when I wasn't in school, and most of my friends worked too. It was just expected of us, if we wanted to have any spending money of our own, we had to earn it.

What say you? Did you work as a teenager and if so, doing what? And are the young people in your family today holding summer jobs?

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

Different times, different agendas.

My lil sister (who will one day be a celebrity on this forum!) at 19 has had only one so called "job". It was babysitting relatives' kid's and such. Reason? She spent most summers gaining collegiate credits by taking classes. She'd be up at 5 am doing homework. Even now, after her first full year of college, I asked how we might spend a week over the summer. She told me we won't, because she's taking classes so she can graduate with a major in X and a minor in Y".

She will NOT be "overeducated" when she gets out. She will be the cream of the crop to companies looking to hire her type. Her "job" right now is to set up her future. I see nothing wrong with that.

Is she the norm? Nope, not even close. But her base salary when she accepts her first job will prove that not every person in America has to get a job as a teenager. Maybe just 99% of us.

And, to add, as we have the same Dad, I was told around 8, that I WOULD get a job as soon as it was legal. And at 14, I got one, and the benefits to my persona by starting to work, earn income, and pay FICA etc, have had a lasting affect on me since that first day/check!
 

Part-time hunter

Ten Pointer
I had a short small town paper route in Hamlet NC when I was 10 years old. We moved to Rockingham where I went to work at Tastee Freeze for $00.85 per hour. I worked as janitor and gopher at Belks and for a while as a bag boy at Winn Dixie. My two sons who are now grown always worked usually somewhere in food service. My grandsons that are entering their teens are both preparing to enter the work force.
 

BamBam

Eight Pointer
Started at 12 yrs. old. Worked tobacco from field to barn. At 16,, got work as a helper/ delivery guy for a appliance shop. Never once thought I’d go without a job, when school was out. My dad never gave me options for a easy summer!!!
 

woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
as a youth I got paid to run around the woods,,,
joined the Army and spent 26 years getting paid for running around the woods (swamps, arctic, desert, jungles, wherever),,,
now striving to get back to where i get paid to run around the woods,,,
 

brownisdown

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
I started farming with my dad at 7 years old. My brother @Cyperry and I were bailing hay by ourselves when i was 10 and he was 7. We rode the tractor to the Dixie Burger in Ellerbe one day to eat lunch and nobody asked us a single question. No longer ago than that was it was a simpler time, one i long for my boys and his daughter to grow up knowing. Hard work, sweat and a lot of days working that we wanted to play made us the men we are today and what Id like to think is good parents as well. I think my parents for that often and on the eve of Mothers Day I think the good Lord my mom made sure we were in church when the doors were open!

I pay high school kids $15 an hour to help me in the hay field and i cant get reliable help to show up. I dont know what the deal is these days.

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buckman84

Six Pointer
Mowed grass, worked at a horse farm that was across from my dad's house. And split firewood. I still do firewood for sock drawer money on the side.
 

Hevi 13. Anson

Ten Pointer
Contributor
My first full time job was a plumbers ditch digger @ $3.25 an hour. Now 32 years later I've double my starting pay Still pisses my Dr. off when he gets a bill😁
 

jug

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Both my kids worked with me as teenagers during the summer. My daughter is still working with me this summer. She hopes this is her last.;)
Dairy Queen was my first summer job.
3.35 an hour
 

wcjones

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Had plenty of summer jobs. Once I got my license I worked during the school year also.

First summer job was helping my best friends dad cut grass...he would pick us up from practice 2 days a week and take us with him. I think we were 13

I also grew up on a small farm and was expected to help my dad every Saturday from a young age. I was a great flashlight holder
 

Blackwater

Ten Pointer
Started around 6 years old as my Dad's powder monkey. During the winter he'd blow lightwood stumps for other farmers who were afraid of it. He worked with dynamite during the war and so taught me how to poke a diagonal hole in a stick, attach the cap to the fuse and then shove the cap and fuse into the stick. We'd then bore a hole down under the stump with a 2" auger, tamp the dynamite down the hole then light it and get a safe distance away. Add to that stripping bottom suckers, handing tobacco, taking it off the stick, tying bundles, hoeing cotton, feeding the stock and anything else my Dad could come up with to keep us occupied. At 7 I was dragging crates to and from the field with our two mules, Babe and Lou. By 12 I was cropping my own row, sowing top dresser to corn and then running out the middles behind Lou, picking cotton, pulling corn by hand, spraying Endrin on the tobacco for hornworms, dropping budworm poison on the small plants long before daybreak and time for the school bus. And all this for NO pay.

That's only part of what we did but rather than bore you further let's just say that work is all that I've ever known and take no pity on anyone too sorry to work.
 

brownisdown

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Started around 6 years old as my Dad's powder monkey. During the winter he'd blow lightwood stumps for other farmers who were afraid of it. He worked with dynamite during the war and so taught me how to poke a diagonal hole in a stick, attach the cap to the fuse and then shove the cap and fuse into the stick. We'd then bore a hole down under the stump with a 2" auger, tamp the dynamite down the hole then light it and get a safe distance away. Add to that stripping bottom suckers, handing tobacco, taking it off the stick, tying bundles, hoeing cotton, feeding the stock and anything else my Dad could come up with to keep us occupied. At 7 I was dragging crates to and from the field with our two mules, Babe and Lou. By 12 I was cropping my own row, sowing top dresser to corn and then running out the middles behind Lou, picking cotton, pulling corn by hand, spraying Endrin on the tobacco for hornworms, dropping budworm poison on the small plants long before daybreak and time for the school bus. And all this for NO pay.

That's only part of what we did but rather than bore you further let's just say that work is all that I've ever known and take no pity on anyone too sorry to work.
Thank you Sir for the hard work you did and that work ethic you have shared with others. Its desperately needed these days!

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Triggermortis

Ten Pointer
I had virtually made enough money before I went to college to pay for at least 2 years of school before I started. No debt when I graduated. Worked all kinds of small jobs to come up with that - farm hand, carpentry, odd jobs, commercial fishing, etc.

One of my nephews started working pretty industriously at 13 - shoot, he's 18 now and has been putting money in a 401K and a Roth IRA since he started to work LOL!!
 

buckshooter

Old Mossy Horns
I worked on my uncles dairy farm from about 10 years old til graduating high schoool. He taught me how to drive a tractor/trailer and after graduating and a stint in the service , I came home and started driving. All I did for the next 40+ years.

My boys both worked in the summer at a restaurant owned by a hunting buddy while they were in high school. Then in college the oldest worked in a nursing facility , the youngest worked in an apprenticeship program to prepare him for the job he has now.

Hard work never hurt anyone. My hat is off to all those who know this is a fact
 

DFisher

Eight Pointer
I have done quite a bit of hiring over the years. I am a lot more apt to hire a kid that worked part time and summer jobs than the ones that did not.
 

catfishrus

Twelve Pointer
I cannot remember the age I started working for my dad in the summer. I do remember at age 14, I bought a 3" A5 browning shotgun and a renegade .54 cal. muzzleloader and a buck lite pocket knife for $2/hour. I remember the shotgun was $476.00 and the ML was around $200 with powder and Etc. The pocket knife was around $10-15. I still own all three to this day and I carry the pocket knife daily. I will be 50 years old in Dec. I have been blessed in life and I didn't go to college. I owe a lot of credit to the man upstairs and my dad for teaching me to work for things in life and how to make a living for my family. I never had to look for a job. I never knew what I wanted to do for a living. Today I'm comfortable doing what I do...same thing I did when I was a kid...putting up gutters. Friend of mind told me 20 years ago " piss on working for money, let money work for you". That stuck with me and made life a lot easier.

As for the younger generation in my family...most of them just want to smoke pot and play video games. Then live off mom and dad.
 

Soilman

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Yep, work on my uncle's tobacco farm as a pre-teen, mowed lawns starting at 13, started working part time, year round at a movie theatre at 16. Personally, I think having a summer job is important for numerous reasons. Personal responsibility, money management, real world experience, how to relate to the public, etc. I think it also teaches young folks that the world does NOT revolve around them, as many parents have led their kids to believe.
 

duck1996

Button Buck
I believe it was 10 when I got my first paycheck working in my dads Turkey houses and straw fields over the summer. $5 an hour to pick up any that died and hand wash all the feeders and waterers as we took them out. By the time I was in high school I was working the equivalent of a full time job after school and on Saturday. Sure saved a heck of a lot of money and took a lot of pride in being able to buy my own truck and boat and not have to ever ask my parents for money like the rest of my friends. I was definitely one of very few who worked to provide for themselves in my high school when I came through.

And it still hasn't changed either. Like brownisdown, I pay high schoolers now to help me stack straw. Pay just as much as I make today working for my dad, buy all their meals and all the snacks they can eat, and can never find enough help

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DC-DXT

Twelve Pointer
Tobacco field starting around 12-13 yrs old in the summers (spring if you count tobacco beds and planting) and hog farm on the weekends during the fall/winter. Tobacco was 6 days a week. Even after college and having a full-time job, wife and son, I still worked in the tobacco fields on Saturdays for my uncle until my late 20’s. He couldn’t find any decent teenage help, so he would ask me to work. Wife spent her teenage years working in a grocery store and college years working in a pool store.

My son has worked summers since turning 16 and having a driver’s license. He works part-time during the school/college year. He started out in fast food, worked for Grandma (pool/spa business, installing pools or spas all summer), and he now works on campus. Daughter is 17, but she hasn’t had a summer job. She’s high-functioning autistic, has some speech difficulties, still learning to drive, and not even sure what type of work she could do.
 

turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
I loved summer time work mowing grass for few people was only steady money made but I wouldn't turn down anything that paid. Oh to be young again seemed could work daylight till dark and with nap do it all over again
 

took

Ten Pointer
Contributor
I think I lived my childhood in a tobacco field and we always had a field of soy beans that Dad would set aside for us to work in, sell, and put in the college fund. Tobacco was hard work but I sure do have a lot of good memories from those summers.
 

curdog

Ten Pointer
Contributor
I got work release from high school and would work at an oil company in the warehouse moving cases of oil and pallets, filling trucks mowing grass and weedeating etc. Then get off at 5, some days go fishing, but a few days a week we'd mow grass until dark. I always did some odd jobs here and there, bushhogging, landscaping but the oil company was the only " regular "job I had.
I was doing interviews for an entry level seasonal job and the requirements were a minimum of one year of manual labor experience... and there were a lot of applicants that didn't have that. I asked about using handtools, nope, lawn mowers, nope, how about even a pressure washer... nope. ... so I said nope.
 

perfectroadglide

Six Pointer
Worked my grandfather's chicken farm from 8 years old till he shut it down, shortly after I got out of high school. Mowed a few yards when time permitted. Worked in a cotton mill in high school. Drove a truck for forty years. I wish I had the energy to do that today.
 

302cj

Twelve Pointer
Tobacco from 13-15. Then I hit it big and started washing dishes and cooking in restaurant. To long ago to remember how much an hour.
 

Wv67

Six Pointer
Work wasn’t work it was just part of the day , part of life etc , put up hay , shovel crap etc you want something you had to work all my friends worked I’m 52 and never been with out work THANK GOD , and both my kids 19and 20 have jobs he’s a welder and iron worker she takes blood and is going back to school to further her self both ha e new 4x4 vehicles and pay for it all their self he’s in tenn now at a mines working I’m proud and lucky guess , kids today ha e no discipline or respect or a clue about life it’s sad
 

aya28ga

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I don't think kids today are less ambitious or motivated in general than kids of past generations were. I believe that a large part of today's generation are focused on the competition for higher education and instead of summer jobs, are doing other things to increase the odds they will get accepted into the right college.

Add to that, most posters have mentioned doing farm work as teenagers, and those types of jobs largely don't exist any more, plus labor laws prohibit using minors. When I was growing up in Maine, the school system used to completely shut down in the Fall and everyone who wanted to worked in the potato harvest; the farmers counted on school kids to be a large part of their harvest crews. Today, a mechanical harvester with a crew of 3 can do the work that used to require a crew of 25 field workers, plus labor laws don't allow kids under 16 to work near mechanized equipment.

And that's too bad because I believe that doing some hard manual labor is good experience for a young person to have. At the very least, it lets them know that doing back-breaking labor for low wages might not be the path they want to stay on for a lifetime......
 
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