Whether you're heading off to college next fall or still have a couple of years left at home, now's a great time to think about how you could put away some dollars for school. Of course, that probably means a part-time job. Sound boring? Tiring? Like the last thing you'd want to do? Well, get a little motivation from five students who are actually doing something besides babysitting and mowing lawns! Check out what they're up to and see if they don't give you a few ideas for putting your own interests, talents, and creativity to work.
Kate started playing the harp when she was 4 years old. By the time she was in fifth grade, she was quite a musician. So her mom encouraged her to start playing for hire. Kate agreed, and her first job was a funeral. Sounds pretty dismal, but since then she's played for all kinds of affairs—weddings, private parties and during the summers at an open air French Market.
Kate enjoys her job, too. "It's great to get paid to do something I like," she says. And Kate gets paid really well—$200 an hour, plus tips! She also usually gets free food. There are some downsides, though. "I have to sit for hours," she says, "so my back aches. And sometimes people ask me really dumb questions like, 'Is that a real harp?' or they request songs I don't really want to play, like 'Stairway to Heaven.'" But Kate says the good definitely outweighs the bad. "I get to meet lots of people. And since I do a lot of weddings, I already have mine planned out. Not to mention I'm getting paid to practice the harp."
Vicki works at Color Me Mine, a paint-your-own-pottery store. When Vicki gets a new customer, she'll first explain how to paint ceramics. Next, she'll have her customer pick out a piece of pottery and the painting will begin—with Vicki standing by to offer suggestions and guidance.
Vicki likes her job for several reasons. For one, there's a really relaxed atmosphere. Most of the employees are around Vicki's age and are all very laid back, she says. Vicki also has a lot of fun helping the customers with their painting, especially little kids.
"I love seeing them find so much joy in painting," she says.
Vicki started looking for a job because she was tired of babysitting, and she knew she needed to save for college. She found out about the opening at Color Me Mine through her mom, who saw the "Now Hiring" sign while out on her morning walk. While Vicki didn't have any real experience in pottery painting, she was hired and learned her job quickly. Painting pottery has been a good fit for her, too. The only bad thing? "Not too many guys come in to paint!" she says with a shrug.
Jason works as a server for a catering company that hosts events all over the Chicago area. As a result, his environment is always changing—one night it might be a casual dinner in someone's home, the next night a formal banquet in a fancy hotel. Either way, Jason has to look sharp—his standard uniform is a tuxedo. And he always has to be on his best behavior—showing the utmost courtesy to those he serves, while also going out of his way to be sociable. Jason heard about the position from one of his friends, as did 15 other guys he knows pretty well. They all applied and got the job. That's what Jason likes best—working with his friends. "It's a lot of fun. It's also pretty good money. I get $12 an hour plus tips, and one job is usually 10 to 12 hours." Another exciting part of Jason's job? He never knows who might show up for dinner. "Nicole Kidman was actually at one of the events," he says. "One of my friends accidentally bumped into her, and another one of my friends served her table!"
Candy & Ice Cream Salesperson