The holidays are officially over. People are going back to work, school breaks are ending, and everyone is walking around glumly, trying to look forward to the distant glimmer of spring on the horizon. The sky is consistently a drab shade of gray, and the chilly breezes nip at anyone who leaves their home. It’s so easy to become discouraged physically during this time of year, but many teens also feel financial tremors.
Great bouts of spending during the holiday season coupled with little work being done to earn money leave many teens with empty pockets and hearts at this time of year. There are still ways to make some cash during the long winter months, though. Here are five winter jobs to get you started. Wages are from my local area and may not be the same where you live, so keep that in mind!
I know that this one is fairly obvious, but there are a few ways to shovel snow more efficiently than the traditional door to door method. First off, don’t go it alone. Bring along a few friends who would also like to help, but also remember that they must be paid as well. You have to factor this into your price. In my opinion, a good place to start would be with five people and charging 50 dollars per driveway. That way, each person makes 10 dollars per driveway.
This may not seem like much, but if you were to shovel ten driveways, each person would walk away with 100 dollars. Also be sure to take the size of the driveway into account, as well as any other surfaces the customer would like shoveled (porches, walkways, etc.). Make use of snow blowers if you have access to them, and if you or a sibling can drive, consider using a plow, if the driveways you service are long enough to make one practical. Using machinery means that less people can do a job more quickly, but you do have to account for fuel costs.
Ski Resort Worker
Much like amusement parks, resorts run during only one part of the year and require a fairly large workforce to enforce rules, operate machinery, and assist patrons. A local resort near me, Blue Mountain, offers a wide variety of seasonal jobs, ranging from being a ski or snow tubing attendant to working as a server in their restaurant. Some resorts also have functions during warmer months, meaning that year-round positions are available. Most entry-level jobs at a ski resort require little experience or skill, making it a perfect part-time job.
Pets, unlike humans, are not discouraged by cold and unfriendly weather. Dogs, cats, and anything else that wears a leash still need exercise in the winter months, even when their owners are not inclined to do the job themselves. If you don’t mind the bitter outdoor environment and get along well with animals, this may be a good option for you.
You can charge slightly more than a normal walk, since it is a more intensive job. Most people would be willing to pay a maximum of about 20-25 dollars per hour. If you are working for someone who is away from home, you could also be asked to perform basic tasks such as feeding the dog, watering plants, retrieving mail, et cetera. You can charge extra for these services. This is especially true for families who take annual winter vacations, who will probably be gone long enough to warrant the use of these services.
Many people purchase flowers for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, and other occasions in the early spring. Since the climate is not right for flower growth in the middle of winter, the time when these flowers would need to be planted, they are grown in a greenhouse. Farms own these greenhouses and sell the flowers in the spring.
If you live in a more rural area, are a somewhat handy gardener, and enjoy working with plants, this job is perfect for you. For one thing, greenhouses are heated, so you can escape the cold while you work. Also, greenhouse hands do relatively low-impact work, so you shouldn’t think you’ll be doing back-breaking jobs on the farm. If that is more of your interest, farms will usually accept year-round hands as well. Seasonal jobs usually pay a minimum of eight dollars an hour.
A job many teens never consider is assisting the elderly during the winter. Older people are especially at risk during the cold months since they are more prone to pneumonia and falls on ice. Place an ad in your local senior center offering assistance with shoveling and treating walkways, running errands, and general companionship.
If you can drive, offer to go on grocery runs and other jobs of that nature. A good place to start your fees would be minimum wage, or even just taking tips. Seniors will be more than happy to hire you for that, and will enjoy your company, especially in the cold and dark of winter. If you are personable, helpful, and enjoy caring for the elderly, this may be the job for you.
The winter does not need to be a dark time in the life of a teen. If you put your hands and your mind to work, you will find yourself both happier and richer. Take some time to explore the employment options in your area, since seasonal jobs differ greatly from one place to the next. Just remember that the most important thing to look for in employment is your own enjoyment. Keep that in mind when choosing your job, along with what you can expect to earn, and have a productive and happy winter!