Great Jobs for Teens in Simi Valley

In a town like Simi Valley, where the majority of recreational activities for teenagers cost money and lack of efficient public transportation often means teens need to drive, having a job can make life for teenagers so much nicer!
Sometimes, when searching for a job, it can feel like no where wants people who are under 18-years old. The reasons for this are understandable; employers need people who can work during the day when most 16- and 17-year-olds are still in school, and people under 18 also require a work permit that comes with restrictions on when employees can work and what machinery they can operate. Still, there are jobs out there that teens can do. You just have to know where to look.
Jobs for teens pretty much fall into one of three categories: retail, food service, or clerical.

Retail

If you are interested in having a retail job, keep in mind that the hours will be more or less limited, due to the hours the store is open, unless you choose somewhere like Walmart or Target, where they are open a little bit later. But retail can be a great option if you want to wear your own clothes and get an employee discount. Don’t choose a retail job if you are ultra shy, because it takes good customer service skills and an outgoing personality to succeed in retail.

Now, some retail stores do not hire people under 18, but the opening of the Simi Valley Town Center last year has seriously opened up the job market for teens. Most of the stores at the mall will hire teenagers. The trick is to just apply to as many as absolutely possible, and always follow up on your application. If you don’t here anything back after a few days, call and ask to speak to a manager, just to see if they have any questions about your application. This extra effort will often get you the interview.

If the mall crowds are not your cup of tea, there are other places you can apply. Consider applying at places like Mervyns or Target, or one of the local video stores, such as Alamo Video, Blockbuster, or Hollywood Video.
Another option is grocery stores. While you do need to be over 18 to work as a cashier, or in the bakery or deli, you can be a courtesy clerk (aka “box boy”) at Vons, Ralphs, or Albertsons, before you are 18. If you want flexible hours (late nights or early mornings included), this may be a great job for you. The only downside is that you will likely get stuck working holidays. You also will have to join the union, which means you will be paying union dues. There are major benefits to being in the union though, including paid holidays (which can mean double time or even more if you work on a holiday) and insurance benefits, although you will not see most of these benefits unless you are full-time. The good thing about the supermarket business is that there is good room for advancement. If you want to be able to stay with a job for a long time and have it grow with you, this can be a great job.

Food service

The ultimate stereotype of a teenage job is probably that of the fast food worker, but there are good reasons for this stereotype. Even if you think you could never picture yourself saying, “Would you like fries with that?” realize that there are many benefits to working fast food. For starters, people who speak clear and fluent English are always highly in demand in the fast food business, so if you are willing to work fast food you will not have any trouble getting a job.

Another major perk to fast food is that, unlike retail where weekends are so busy that you will be hard pressed to get a Saturday or Sunday off, fast food doesn’t really hit peak business on the weekends, so it is easier to get a weekend off to hang out with your friends or go to prom or whatever. If you are involved in a lot of school activities (band, choir, sports, etc.), schedule flexibility can be a big issue about finding a job. Most managers at fast food places are willing to work around a busy teenage schedule, as long as you communicate with them long enough in advance.

There are tons of fast food places in Simi Valley, so you can pretty much take your pick. If you don’t have a car, chances are there is somewhere within walking distance from your house. There are four Carl’s Jr. restaurants in Simi Valley, all of which hire teenagers on a regular basis, and it is a great place to work. Both of the Del Taco restaurants hire teenagers as well, and are good about flexibility on hours.

Another option to consider is applying to be a host or hostess at a restaurant. Because most restaurants serve alcohol, you cannot be a server before you turn 18, but starting as a host while you are still 16 or 17 is a great way to get started. Once you turn 18, you can always move up to being a server, and eventually maybe even to bartending. Being a server can be a great job to have during college, so setting yourself up with restaurant experience early is a good idea. Consider applying at any of the restaurants in the town center; Islands and Red Robin both commonly hire hosts that are under 18.

Clerical

Last but not least, you can always try for a clerical job. Not many businesses will hire teenagers for clerical work, since much of the work needs to be done during school hours; however, there are some places that need office assistants in the afternoon. These jobs are considerably harder to find. You can ask around at local dentists and doctor’s offices to see if they are looking for any afternoon help. You can also try checking out ads in the paper.

The best way to find this type of job is through an agency. The Youth Employment Service (YES) of Simi Valley specializing in finding jobs for young people. Check them out online at http://www.simivalley.org/html/youth_employment_service.html, or give them a call at (805) 522-HIRE. (Note: YES of Simi Valley can also be helpful in finding other jobs, also. I highly recommend contacting them if you need help finding a job.)

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