Splash into summer jobs

By Cristin Morgan | Published Thursday, May 12, 2011

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Summer jobs are available for teens interested in earning extra money and learning about responsibility.

“When I do the interview, I look for eye contact,” Ron Olson, general manager of Taco Mayo in Bridgeport said. “The more they tell about themselves, the better.”

Cristin Morgan

Olson has managed Taco Mayo for four-and-a-half years. Before that, he managed a Wendy’s for five years and a Grandy’s for 17 years.

“During an interview, you’re selling yourself. You want to show you’re right for the job,” Olson said.

Decatur High School freshman, Christin Roberts, recently went through an interview at Pizza Hut in Decatur and was hired as a waitress.

“I got a job because I am saving up for a truck and other stuff,” she said.

Roberts has been working just about a month, making $3.15 an hour, plus tips.

“I like it. It’s pretty fun,” Roberts said. “Be outgoing during the interview and be yourself.”

YouthSpoken 200Dillon Thompson, Decatur High School senior, works at Lowe’s in Decatur.

“I work because there is stuff I have to pay for,” he said, “like a truck, food and gas.”

Working about 30 hours a week, Thompson unloads trucks most of the time.

“I get paid $9.56 an hour and I try to save some, but I spend most of it,” he said. “Be confident in your interview.”

At Yesterday’s Texas, Decatur High School senior Kaylea Halford works to make money and spend it on what she needs.

“I spend my money on pretty much everything,” Halford said.

Working three to five shifts a week at the Decatur restaurant and getting paid $2.25 an hour, plus tips, is the start to a summer job.

“It takes away free time,” Halford said, “but you get to meet new people. This job teaches you people skills.”

While filling out application after application, teens start preparing for the interviews.

“When going into an interview you’re nervous, you’re scared, just explain yourself,” Olson said. “Tell everything you’ve done whether you think it’s important or not. Every experience helps, even if it’s mowing the lawn or doing the dishes.”

Some teens who don’t want to work with the public can start up something on their own, such as mowing lawns or babysitting.

Decatur High School sophomore, Summer Miller, babysits throughout the summer and during the school year.

“I like little kids, and I like the extra money,” Miller said. “The kids are funny, and it helps out the parents.”

During the summer, Miller babysits anywhere from one to four times a week working from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. She babysits three kids and makes around $40 to $50 a day.

“I save my money until I get enough for what I want; then I go and buy it,” Miller said. “Find something you’re good at and go for it.”

Whether working for a business or babysitting, a job helps prepare for the real world.

“For me, it’s rewarding to work with new and young people, as well as working with public people,” Olson said. “Be confident in yourself.”

Places hiring 14 and older

  • Braum’s

Places hiring 15 and older

  • McDonalds

Places hiring 16 and older

  • Pizza Hut
  • Yesterday’s
  • Chili’s (host)
  • Cici’s Pizza
  • Whataburger
  • Plaza Cinema IV
  • IHOP
  • Sean’s Mesquite Pit BBQ
  • Frilly’s
  • Taco Bell
  • Sweetie Pies
  • Arby’s

Places hiring 18 and older

  • Hibbett Sports
  • AutoZone
  • Lowe’s
  • Chili’s (waitress)
  • Starbucks
  • Blockbuster

My experience

I started working last summer at Braum’s in Decatur. Braum’s is the only place that will hire 14-year-olds. I filled out an application and was hired a month later. I have now been working there for more than a year and enjoy it very much. They work around my schedule, and I look forward to going to work; I love all the people I work with. One thing I dislike about the job is since I am under the age of 16, I have limitations.

If you happen to drop in from time-to-time, you may find me at the front serving ice cream or at the register taking orders. Other times I am hidden in the back taking orders at the drive through and the majority of the time I am the runner, which is the person who gets everything ready for the drive through to hand out at the second window. The last possible place you may find me is the produce/fresh market area. I work there when we are short on employees.

I am thankful for this job, and it has helped me learn a lot about responsibility. The No. 1 tip I can give teens from experience is to be responsible. If you’re not responsible, there is no way you could make it with a job. It is nice to have extra money to spend and save, but after starting a job and taking responsibility, you realize it’s not just about the money. Having a job is a life lesson and is preparing you for the real world.

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