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Telecommuting for Teens Seeking Part-Time Work

Many teenagers and young-adults seek part-time work to help pay for a car, insurance, lunches during the week, or a night out with friends. Teens need to remember that their education is important and must be careful not to put work first. This is not only a rule of most parents but the federal government too. In general, teens cannot take a job before the age of 14. Work hours are limited under the Fair Labor Standards Act for anyone under the age of 16. Students are not supposed to work more than 18 hours a week when school is in session.

In the summer, when school is not in session, that number goes up to 40 hours. The labor laws are stringent and do not leave much room for flexibility. Working as a telecommuter allows teens to work part-time, in a freelance capacity, with far more flexible hours.

For teens that are looking for lucrative, part-time work, telecommuting is the perfect option. As a telecommuter, you can work as a freelance employee. This means you are free to choose the projects or assignments that interest you. There is no long term commitment, no annual or hourly salary. You get paid for each completed project. The flexibility that comes with a freelance position is ideal for the teen who is juggling school, sports, friends, family and work. You work a schedule that fits your busy, often unpredictable days. In other words, you will still have time to enjoy being a teenager.

As of 2007, only 35% of American teenagers had part-time jobs; a number that has been steadily falling since the year 2000 (Jan Swander). Those teens who do work average 15-20 hours a week. It is easy to attribute the drop in teenage workers to the overall drop in the economy’s job market. In reality, even in the years when the U.S. economy was expanding the percentage of teen workers was falling.

The decreasing population of teenage workers can be attributed to the growing number of commitments teens have today. Between school, tutoring, sports, band, SAT prep and dozens of other activities, teens just no longer have the time to work too. Part-time telecommuting allows teenagers to work when they have the spare time. Working as a freelance employee allows these kids to work on a project intermittently throughout the week. Maybe an hour after school, or two hours after practice, even five hours on the weekend. With a telecommuting position, teens are not committed to working 6-8 hour shifts; instead, they have the flexibility to balance all of their commitments while earning extra income.

Another advantage of telecommuting for teenagers is the impersonal relationship between the boss and the employee. Teens often have a hard time landing good jobs because of the many preconceived notions in the workplace. Employers feel a high school student cannot adequately handle the job because they are too young, do not have a degree, have too little experience or just are not smart enough.

In reality, high school students often have many useful skills and are more than capable of doing much of the work. The fact that teens are able to remain “faceless,” creates an environment that is far more conducive to teens finding legitimate employment. No American can be discriminated against based on age no matter young or old. All an employer needs to know is that work is being completed correctly.

What kinds of telecommuting jobs are available for teenagers? Plenty of opportunities exist for teens to work as telecommuters. One position is as a freelance writer. Working in a freelance position allows teens to work when they have the time. There is no long term commitment or hourly wage; payment is made upon completing a project. Freelance writers may write blogs, articles or short stories. You do not need to be a world-class writer; you just need to be cohesive and understand your topic. Jobs like this are a great opportunity for teens who already have a passion for writing. Other opportunities exist in the field of data entry.

Data entry work is not hard and pays well. As a data encoder, you are primarily responsible for entering lists of names, numbers or other data into the computer. This usually involves little more than a spreadsheet or database program. Again, payment is made upon completing the assigned documents. Work as a data encoder will help management easily access and analyze the company’s databases. Are you computer savvy? For those of you who have already created your own Facebook and Twitter pages; your skills are in demand.

Many companies are looking to increase their exposure on social media outlets. Most firms do not have an internal department for this work and look to outsource the work to telecommuters. No one knows the ins and outs of Facebook better than today’s teens. Companies will pay good money to design and maintain their social media pages. Many teens have already taken computer programming or graphic design classes in high school. Opportunities are out there for teens who possess either of these highly-demanded skills. Possibly the best way for teens to work at home is as a virtual tutor. Teens can tutor their peers, help them comprehend the day’s lessons or even help them with homework.

Tutoring jobs pay hourly and allow for stress-free scheduling. Subjects include: science, math, literature and history. Virtual tutoring allows teens to pass along the knowledge, help a peer who may be struggling and get paid while doing it.

Parents:: do not forget the valuable life lessons your teen will learn from working a part-time job. A part-time job teaches teens about work ethic. It will show them that the workplace is not easy and that it is not supposed to be; but with hard work they will be able to attain many of the things they may want. Working as a telecommuter will also allow your teen to improve his or her people skills. They may hone these skills by interacting with the customer, speaking on the phone,
or conversing with their boss. Having a part- time job shows
kids the value of a dollar. In no time, teens will realize
how hard it is to earn money and how important it is
to save money.

They will find a new appreciation for all their
parents have been able to give them and better understand
the realities of the real world. Far too often, teens think money
magically regenerates on a small plastic card and do not fully understand the time and energy that goes into earning that money.
It is important that teens learn about responsible spending. Aside from the life lessons they can take away, working as a telecommuter part-time can help your teen do better in math, economics and marketing classes. Teens will be able to apply what they have learned in school to real world situations. They can practice their school material as a tutor, improve their knowledge of computers as a programmer, or perfect their writing as a freelance author. These are skills that will not only carry onward to college, but for the rest of their lives.

Today’s teenagers have a lot on their plates; school, friends, family, passing their driving test, preparing for college, and for many, part-time jobs. Part-time work not only allows teens to earn some extra spending money, but it teaches them valuable lessons about responsibility and adulthood. With the difficulty of balancing all of these things, many teens would benefit from a telecommuting position. Working from home, as a telecommuter, still gives teens the opportunity to earn extra cash without the commitment of a traditional job. Working as a telecommuter allows teens to be hired because of the skills they possess and not immediately eliminated from contention because of their age.

Age discrimination is a reality in many workplaces. Telecommuting allows the employer and employee to maintain a “faceless” relationship. The worker is rightfully recognized for his or her work, not age. Most telecommuting opportunities for teenagers are in the form of freelance positions. These positions allow teens to work as much as they want, when they want, without taking away from the importance of school. Freelance telecommuters are paid upon the completion of the assigned project. The strain of balancing work and school is often too much for teens who, after all, are still trying to enjoy their childhood. Working part-time as a telecommuter, allows your teens to earn additional income, learn about hard work and take on responsibility. Most importantly, it allows your kid to be a kid.

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