Tips for summer job seekers for high school students

Published 12:05 am Thursday, March 2, 2023

By Claire Reinthaler
For the Clemmons Courier

There’s no doubt that the high schoolers of today have some major differences from those of four or five years ago. With the COVID-19 pandemic taking away nearly half of the 2019-2020 school year and all of the 2020-2021 school year, it cannot be overstated the mental, emotional and educational impact those couple of years had on students. Many local businesses also suffered, with patronage and worker availability during the pandemic dropping dramatically. Employment for high school students alone dropped almost two percent from 2019 to 2020, rebounding steadily in 2021 and 2022. Now, with the summer approaching, many students, particularly at West, are looking for jobs in this new, more opportunistic hiring climate.
“I feel like it’s easier (to apply now for jobs after the pandemic) since so many people need workers,” senior Azriella McClearen said.
Many students who are looking for summer jobs are looking for something that pays well and has a consistent work schedule. Since there are so many other things students have to focus on over the summer such as family vacations, summer homework and for rising seniors, preparing college applications, having that stability is important. Getting higher wages than are standard for high schoolers might also be feasible, given how many businesses are low on staff.
All this combined makes it the perfect time for high school students to apply, but for those who may be applying for a first job, the idea can be daunting. Luckily, there are some helpful tips to follow.
“Just be yourself and don’t put on a studious, incredibly educated act. (When you’re applying), show your future employer who you really are and your work ethic,” junior Mallory Hearn said.
Once you’re working a job, it’s important to still take care of yourself as well as your patrons and staff.
“Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself,” McClearen said. “Don’t let them treat you like you’re small or stupid or a bad worker for not killing yourself for a job that can replace you.”
“Be honest and always talk to others for advice,” junior Amber Summers said.
In Clemmons in particular, places like Burger King, the Tanglewood pool, Pet Supermarket and more are all hiring workers ages 16 and up. The majority of the local job opportunities for teens are also willing to work with individual schedules and pay $10 or more per hour.
No matter what you’re interested in, there’s an opportunity for everyone to apply for a part time or full time position this summer. Don’t be afraid to do some research and talk to different people to find the right job for you.

Claire Reinthaler is this year’s Titan Tattler.