Summertime blues for teens looking for work

It's the summertime blues as far as earning some "green" for many teenagers this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Less than a million jobs are expected to be up for grabs in the youth summer job space, as opposed to a high last year of 1.74 million, according to career transitioning firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The jobs that are typically filled by younger workers are now being filled by adults who are now unemployed due to the pandemic.

Other obstacles include the loss of retail jobs, as shopping shifts online. Lots of restaurants still haven't opened at full capacity. Many companies are in a holding pattern. Some implemented hiring freezes, while others made permanent layoffs, or have plans to do so. 

So what is a young person looking for income and hungry for experience, to do?

Professional success expert Kathryn Brooks says the theme of Summer 2020 is "optimism and opportunity." She says teens may have to create their own opportunities to hone skills like teamwork and reliability, things traditionally developed during a warm-weather gig. 

"If there's an opportunity to bring that teen into an at-home job shadowing situation, I think it's a perfect chance for the teen to see their parent role modeling professionalism," Brooks suggests.

She also encourages young people to volunteer through their school or church.

"Take this time now to get ahead of your competition," Brooks adds. "Volunteering provides real-world experience and is a great resume enhancer."

And if you can't build your savings, you can still build your success skills, Brooks advises:

"This is a great time to learn. If you want to learn how to code - if you want to learn eCommerce, retailers are coming more and more online. Take it upon yourself to continue to grow. There are just so many opportunities out there for online learning."