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Summer jobs offer local teens spending money, work experience

As another school year comes to a close, many local teens have begun “pounding the pavement” in search of summer employment.

For some teens, a summer job is just that, a summer job, while others may be able to parlay their summer work into a permanent position. Still others may search for a job that will teach them valuable skills necessary for a future career choice.

Jessie Howard, a junior at Farragut High School recently started working at a local frozen yogurt shop. The yogurt shop was the second place that Howard applied, and she began working the next day. “I like it because I get to sleep in in the morning, and then work a three or four hour shift,” Howard said.

Swim team meets and competitive softball tournaments take up a great deal of Howard’s time, but she still manages to work about 20 hours a week.

Even though Howard doesn’t have her driver’s license yet, she plans on saving most of the money earned this summer for car insurance and gasoline. “I’ll probably set a little money aside for shopping though,” she said.

Lauren Briody, 16, recently started her first job at a local grocery store. Like Howard, Briody had no trouble finding summer employment.

“This was the second place that I applied to, and I was pretty much hired on the spot,” she said. “My parents are happy because the store is close to home.”

Briody hopes to continue working once school starts in the fall. She says that half of her money will go into a bank account while the other half will be “spent mostly on clothes.”

Recent FHS graduate, Stephen Nemeth has been working at a pharmacy for about nine months.

“A woman from my church is the pharmacy manager and offered me the job because she knew that I wanted to study pharmacology in college,” he said.

This too, is Nemeth’s first job, and he says that along with earning some money, he has begun to learn important aspects about his future career.

“I already know most of the generic names for the drugs, and I am learning a lot about certain drug interactions,” he said.

Stephen considers his work “on the job training.” He has plans to continue working while attending the University of Tennessee in the fall and ultimately to attend pharmacy school in Memphis.

The average hourly salary for area teens is between $5.50 and $7 an hour.

Jay Pipes, guest author at offers advice to teens in search of their first job. Simple suggestions such as making a list of who is hiring by “scouting out” the newspaper, making sure that they are well groomed because appearance matters and following up with the person who is hiring in order to show a sense of responsibility will help with the hiring process.

Pipes also advises teens to be prepared for rejection. “As first time job seekers, teens need to understand that they may not be hired right away,” he said.

“They need to be able to accept rejection graciously and ask the employer to call if their needs change in the future.” suggests putting together a brief bio or resume and leaving it with a prospective employer in order to show that they are serious about the job and have put some effort into their job search.

A resume also gives an employer something to refer back to if future employment becomes available.

According to, most teens have positive feelings about their first job. Pipes said, “The first job allows teens to learn a sense of responsibility, meet new people, earn a little money and have fun.”

He added, “Looking for a first part time job may seem like a daunting task, but in the long run, it sets the teen on the right course for the future.”


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