Business & Economy

The summer job market is hot right now

Teens looking for a summer job will have an easier time landing one, experts said.
Teens looking for a summer job will have an easier time landing one, experts said.
Photo by _skynet via Flickr Creative Commons

If your teenager is looking for a summer job, the market has never been hotter.

That's according to Andrew Challenger, vice president at Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a firm that helps people transition to new careers.

He says over the last few years, teens have been trading traditional summer jobs for activities that make them college contenders.

But that doesn't mean real-world jobs won't offer success.

“Even if it is just customer service and showing up on time, we know from study after study that long-term career success is highly-correlated with having a position as a teenager,” said Challenger.

Employers most in need of an extra hand include warehouses and construction. Companies are also looking for teens who are savvy with social media and technology.

Kournei O’hara is a 17-year-old senior at Leuzinger High in Lawndale. She plans to become a dentist one day after getting a degree in chemistry at her local college.

She recently started working at McDonalds 24 hours per week to save for college expenses and to gain work experience.

“I wanted to start making my own money,” O’hara said. She also wanted “to see what it felt like.”

“I’m about to be an adult and I don’t have any type of work experience,” she said.

She says she would have started working “long ago” but didn’t have any luck. 

She would have preferred working retail at the mall but jobs there required her to be 18 years old.

O’hara said her job is a lot easier than she expected. Keeping cool while dealing with difficult people is more challenging, she said, but those are exactly the skills that will valuable throughout her career.