The Search is On!

Kayla Gaynor, Staff Writer

Finding a job as a teenager isn’t as easy as you think.

Every teenager has heard the three dreaded words from an adult in their life before: Get a job. Adults make it sound so easy to just find a job, but in reality, it’s actually a lot harder than it sounds, especially as a teenager in 2022.

I can tell you from personal experience, it can be very difficult to find a job. Though this is true, my first job was a different story. My first job was very easy to get. On my fifteenth birthday, I got a text message from my cousin Jacqueline, saying: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I hope you have a great day and get great things–also, I know you like to babysit but you are old enough to work at my job now. We’re hiring again in a month so if you’re interested I can hook you up!” I went to an orientation and was hired almost right away. I started working February 23rd, 2022, and my last day was October 22nd, 2022. I was very lucky to have my cousin offer me a job at only fifteen, as most teenagers do not get the same opportunity. After quitting my job due to the distance, it has been pretty difficult to find a new job, especially one close to my home. I have a resume, working papers, work experience, and I have yet to receive a call back from anywhere. But why? A big factor in this could be because I am not sixteen yet.

Many other teenagers my age have also found it difficult to find a job at this time. However, there is one Farmingdale High School student who had a similar experience to me, Brianna Maggio, “I work as a youth council gymnastics coach,” she told me. She did not have a tough time finding this job. “I previously worked with the youth council, so they offered the job to me. It didn’t take long,” she said. However, she is the only teenager I interviewed who got a job. The thing about this student is she is sixteen, unlike the other teenagers. The other teenagers I interviewed were fifteen, and they all seemed to struggle finding a job. “I’ve applied to around five places,” student Marielle Guevara says. “I never got any responses, and if I did, they told me I was too young.” 

The other thing about being young and searching for a job is the travel issues. If you are fourteen or fifteen looking for a job, you are depending on someone, most likely a family member, to bring you to your job because you can’t drive at that age. “One of the reasons why it’s been so hard to find a job is probably because I can’t drive. Not being able to drive is a big setback in getting jobs. I hope soon that there’s a more efficient way to get a job as a high schooler,” student Emma Palandro says. Since some parents may be working, that limits teenagers’ ways of getting to work. If you can’t get to work, you can’t get the job.

Teenagers are always pressured into finding a job once they get to high school, but in the first two years of high school, that’s not an easy thing to accomplish. There is a challenge finding transportation, and the age requirements on jobs make it difficult for teens as well. So, if you’re an adult trying to convince your teenager to find a job, first take into consideration that it’s not an easy task.