Well....I'm out of ideas. I've been trying to find a job for the summer for about two months now with no luck. A lot of people my age get jobs at fast food restaurants or behind the counter at a department store, but I don't want to do any of that. I'm looking for a job that I would actually learn something from. Not some mindless job that the illegal immigrant standing on the side of the road with the sign "wil werk 4 cheep" could easily do. I've applied for jobs at many law offices and auto garages and places that range in between, but I haven't had any luck. So does anyone have any ideas or past jobs that would be helpful?

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I hope it's not for this summer, because you may be too late for a really plum job.

Thing is, I'm not sure how much you can learn in a summer job, especially before college.  And it seems you haven't settled on what you want to learn (law offices and auto garages are pretty far from each other in content!).

I suspect most men here will say, "Take the grunt job, and you'll learn from it more than you imagine."  I don't know what you imagine, but there's something to be said for that, especially if it's a temporary situation.  I know my (college) students are always more professional if they've been self-supporting.  You won't be from this, but it'd be a good entree.

You don't really get to be so picky until you're older, and even then, landing the job you actually want might be harder than you think. 

I've had a lot of jobs for someone my age (I think). There were ones I enjoyed, like when I was a baker's assistant, or when I made deliveries to construction sites, and there were ones I disliked, such as working the cash at a fast food joint and at a sporting goods store. But not once did I think that the job was below me. 

Unless you have connections - which I assume you don't, since you would have used them by now - just take what you can get. Most people don't get to choose how high up the ladder they start. 


From those tags I assume you're 17. 

So as not to leave you without any suggestions, here are some positions that I've enjoyed that you could probably get without any experience:

- store clerk in a small deli/bakery
- lumberyard worker
- passenger seat on a construction site delivery truck

Out of my job history, those are the only suggestions I have for you that fit your situation. 

Hey man, don't knock the immigrants till you've walked a mile in their shoes. Somebody has to do the jobs that candy-ass white folks won't do themselves. In fact, i might recommend that you look if a local golf course needs grounds maintenance workers for the summer. Best job i ever had, and i was about 16 when i did it. Sure, it helps a lot to know some spanish, but working outside in the early morning mist with nothing but your thoughts in your head and a mower under your ass is a very meditative experience. Plus, it pays pretty well. Much better than flipping burgers or being some lawyer's gopher. Even ifyou've got some training and skills under your belt, you'll have a few crappy jobs in your chosen field. just think of them as stepping stones- paying your dues honing your real-world skills before you're ready to run with the big dogs.

I know people with college educations working at fast-food places. Unemployment is that high. Whoever could do those jobs, people a couple steps up the skills ladder are actually taking them. My law firm used to hire college students as receptionists and clerks. Now we hire college grads because we can.

I worked for my mother through high school and college, which means I didn't really have to look for a job until after law school. I regret not having the job-hunting experience. My younger sisters, OTOH, volunteered or otherwise did unpaid, college-application-boosting activities for their high school summers. But the positions were competitive (though not as competitive as paid work the last few years), so as a practical matter they got the experience I didn't.

I suggest you think long-term about what kind of experiences will help you when you apply for your first truly professional jobs. There may be non-profit law groups that can take in high school interns. Hospitals take high school volunteers, which can be a good way to later get a paid position in healthcare. (It's how Dr. Mom went looking for someone to replace me.)

Very true. My long-time job in college was in a lumber yard. most of my coworkers were your standard white trash kids in their twenties, but one was a 30 year old man with an MBA. Made the same wages i did, did the same grunt work. It's sad.

True. Just sad to see someone who has put in that much work and with that level of intelligence get royally screwed. Sign of the times, eh?

Just because he went to collage got the degree bought a frame and put it on the wall doesn't mean he is any good at it .

And it's certainly sad that the MBA in the lumber yard is a sign of millions of men unable to get jobs at all to earn an honest living.

That really is sad. It also shows me that I am pretty well hindered because of my 1) age 2) college education or lack thereof...

Looks like I better keep my grades up if I want any shot at a decent career.

Grades, and, again, relevant unpaid experience

Does your school have a counselor helping with college applications, etc.? Why not ask her what you should do this summer? The internships and volunteer work have worked out for my sisters. They got into good colleges, and the older one is well on her way to a career in education or diplomacy or park service or lots of other government jobs.

Well I do have a school counselor, however I attend a military academy in Virginia while I actually live in Houston. So I don't think that would do me much good.
I do agree with you in the volunteer work for colleges though. I have and continue to do as much volunteer work as I can as a means of an added plus to my college resume.

My first job and then my summer job while in college was at a summer camp.  Started in the dish crew where I learned humility and service to others, from there I became a counselor where I learned how to take care of other people, I did some maintenance where I learned to take care of things, I eventually became an activities coordinator which helped me learn to lead.

You can lean something from any job that you can get!  Just do the best you can do and don't ever complain about the job that has been given to you.


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