The lockers have slammed shut until Fall, and many teens and tweens are still finalizing summer plans. With the economy still in a slump, job opportunities are less plentiful than in years past. However, with some creativity and resourcefulness, there are still opportunities. Here are some tips for parents and teens/tweens.

Adding work to your summer agenda is a great idea for many reasons. It builds self-confidence, independence, and possibly some early savings for college.

Internships are a great way to dip your foot in the pool, gain useful skills, and build your resume for paid positions in future years.

• Tweens and teens can apply to day camps or area churches/synagogues to assist with younger kids and possibly earn community service hours at the same time. Much like an internship, a young volunteer is paving his/her way toward being more competitive in applying for paid positions in the future.

• Email or post flyers offering mother’s helper or babysitting services. Also consider yard work; picking up mail or papers while neighbors are on summer vacations; or walking dogs while families are at work/camp. A cute & inviting flyer from a kid is hard to resist!

I came across some additional tips from a 19-year-old, Chelsea Krost, who is a teen advocate with a weekly national radio show, Teen Talk Live.

Krost recommends that teens try to find jobs that complement their interests, “DO find a summer job that suits you. If you get stuck with a job you hate, you’re going to be miserable all summer,” she advises. She lists several examples: “Interested in working with kids? Consider a job as a camp counselors or nanny. Enjoy competition? Many retail jobs offer commission-based pay that will keep you motivated to do your best.”

While Krost has some useful tips for finding summer work, she also advocates some much needed R & R. “The best way to maximize your summer is to get some needed rest, recharge your batteries, and be ready to hit the ground running this fall,” she explains. Some of her ideas include using down time to explore hobbies or useful future job skills; staying active with play and sports; and spending time with family.

Here are some more resources I found with summer job tips for the younger generation:

–> Groove Job – Lists part-time, student, teen, and hourly jobs. Their home page has some spotlight employers including AT&T and Ross looking for employees now.

–> teens4hire – Resources and jobs for teens.

–> – has some outside links to resources and information on the topic.