Finding a job when you're a teenager is easy if you're just looking for something to help you earn cash over the summer; fast food restaurants and retail shops are always on the lookout for eager and willing young people who have flexible schedules. However, if you're a teen with a mental health or mood disorder - such as anxiety, OCD, or depression - it can be very difficult to find employment that doesn't require you to work with the public or in a crowded, noisy place.
There are some options available to you if you know where to look, however. Here are some of the best jobs to look for.
Working from home is not always an option for teens, but being a dog boarder or pet sitter allows you to do just that. Taking care of other people's pets is a way to earn cash while bonding with an animal from the comfort of your own home; just make sure you meet any necessary age requirements and double check that it's cool with your parents or roommate. Once you're up and running as a pet sitter, create a checklist of information to get from each of your clients regarding their pet's routines and any medications they may need before the owner leaves.
Another great option is dog walking. If you need something with flexible hours that's close to home, seek out clients who need a responsible person to come let out their dog while they're at work or out of town; you might even be able to find something within walking distance of your own home. Double-plus bonus? Working with animals is extremely soothing and is recommended for people suffering with many different types of disorders.
While working with kids requires some patience, it can also be a wonderful way to fill your days and earn money doing something worthwhile, and it can also be a big self-esteem boost. Little ones will likely look up to you and learn from what you teach, which can help garner your confidence.
Working in an office setting can be great for people with anxiety, because it provides stability and the knowledge that each day will be structured a certain way. It's also a good way to keep stress levels down, especially if you can find a business that doesn't require too much outside of paperwork, answering phones, or filing.
If solitude is what you're looking for, you might consider looking for a job in the field of housekeeping or office cleaning. These jobs are usually very flexible and will allow you to work alone or with a small team to get the job done. Large office buildings, hotels, and museums are just a few of the places you might look for work.
Let's face it: there are bound to be more jobs in the foodservice industry that are available to young people than many other businesses, so use it to your advantage. Many restaurants need cooks or people to come in early and do prep work - such as cutting up foods and getting everything put into the right containers for the day - and these are largely solitary jobs that offer flexible hours.
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