Teenagers are Building Thier Own Job Engine -
BY Eileen Zimmerman New York Times
PERIODS of high unemployment tend to be particularly hard on teenagers, who wind up competing for jobs with more experienced, laid-off adults.
When Faith Borden, 16, of Metuchen, N.J., applied for a job in March to be a counselor at a summer day camp, she looked around and saw “all these 30- and 40-year-olds,” she said. “Usually it’s just teenagers.”
She also applied at pizza restaurants, drugstores and most of the stores at her local mall, and even attended a job fair in Edison, N.J., but didn’t receive one offer. So she decided to work for herself, selling Avon products.
Also facing a competitive job market, Max O’Dell, 14, of Cary, N.C., started Smiley Inc., a custom T-shirt design business. He paints shirts in his driveway and hangs them in the garage to dry; revenue so far has been $170.
“Business is very steady, and I would much rather work for myself than at a fast-food place or something like that,” he said. “It feels really good to be my own boss.”
Unemployment for 16- to 19-year-olds is at its highest rate since 1992 — at 22.7 percent in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is causing some teenagers to rethink their notion of work and to embrace entrepreneurship.
“This is a generation raised to believe they can do anything, and the first to grow up with entrepreneurial celebrities like Steve Jobs of Apple and Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google,” said Donna Fenn, who interviewed 150 young entrepreneurs for her forthcoming book, “Upstarts: How Gen Y Entrepreneurs Are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit From Their Success.”
Many teenagers have also seen the turmoil in the auto industry and layoffs of parents or other adults. They no longer associate financial security with big corporations, Ms. Fenn said.
In a survey conducted by the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship in December 2007, 4 out of 10 people from the ages of 8 to 21 said they would like to start their own business in the future.
But that might reflect youths’ aspirations more than reality, said Scott Shane, an economist and a professor of entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and a contributor to The New York Times’s small-business blog, “You’re the Boss.” “The percentage of the population becoming entrepreneurs is actually declining,” he said. “It’s true today that people are more likely to say they want to be in business for themselves, but that may reflect their attitude more than their behavior.”
Still, interest in entrepreneurship education among teenagers is rising. The Distributive Education Clubs of America, or DECA, which provide high school and college students with training in marketing, management and entrepreneurship, says it has found a 20 percent increase this year in interest in its entrepreneurship events.
Amy Rosen, chief executive of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, a nonprofit group that provides entrepreneurship education in low-income communities, says her organization has more inquiries from school districts than it can serve and has been overwhelmed this year with applicants for its spring-break and summer camps.
“These kids are concerned that the world their parents grew up in no longer exists and the notion of taking control and owning your own future is really appealing,” Ms. Rosen said.
The Internet may be the most significant catalyst for teenagers’ entrepreneurship. The ability to start a business online has lowered many barriers to self-employment faced by young people — you need only a domain name and a Web site to set up shop and are largely anonymous to customers, who never have to know your age, said Alan Lysaght, co-author of “The ABCs of Making Money for Teens.”
There is also an abundance of information online about starting a business.
Laura Durst, 18, a recent high school graduate in Woodstock, Conn., in the state’s northeast corner, said that there were so few jobs for teenagers there that two years ago she began setting up a Web-based business, WorkInMyRoom.com. It provides teenagers with information and online resources to find jobs that can be done from home.
Ms. Durst said she was inspired by her mother, who also is an entrepreneur. “Seeing her work from home, where she could be her own boss, I liked the idea of that,” she said.
Ms. Durst’s revenue comes from advertising. She uses Google Ad Sense — which displays relevant Google ads on her site — and earns money when users click on them. She says she is making about $250 a month.
TEENAGERS start a wide range of businesses, Mr. Lysaght said, from selling art, jewelry or collectibles online to Web site creation and design. “They also do non-Web-based things like yard work, house cleaning, dog walking, pool care, tutoring and party planning,” he said.
In addition to the money they are earning, teenagers say entrepreneurship has made them more mature. Max O’Dell said he could now relate when his father talked about his own work, and Ms. Borden said she has learned how to speak to adults as an adult. “I feel like this experience is getting me ready for the real world,” she said.
Teens can find summer jobs this year with a little entrepreneurial effort -
BY Rosemary Black DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Twelve-year-old twins Jake and Emma Johnson can’t wait till school’s out, but they won’t be spending their summer letting the grass grow under their feet. They make money by tutoring other kids, babysitting, running errands and even selling pink lemonade and homemade cookies on their Upper West Side block.
“For kids, working in the summer isn’t only about getting rich,” says their proud mom Tory Johnson, CEO of Women for Hire. “It’s about building a worth ethic and developing a sense of responsibility.”
And, she adds, if kids can’t find traditional jobs this year, there are plenty of entrepreneurial opportunities out there.
Alan Lysaght, co-author of “The ABCs of Making Money for Teens,” says the most important attribute a kid can have when looking for work or starting up a homegrown business is a great attitude.
“Kids need to find a way to stand out in a positive way,” he says. “Instead of walking into a place and just asking if there is a job available, walk in and say, I would love to work here! If your attitude is down in the trough, you’re simply not marketable.”
If a child wants to go the entrepreneurial route this summer because the job market’s so tight, help her decide what she is passionate about, Lysaght says. If she is good at computers, maybe she can tutor seniors in computer skills, or if your child loves music, check out volunteer opportunities in the local library working with audio books.
Growing and selling garden fruits and vegetables, making jewelry, packing lunches for young kids (a great help for a working mom), and transferring home videos and slides to DVDs are other possible opportunities for kids, Lysaght says.
Help your child find something entrepreneurial by honing in on his passions, Johnson says. “Maybe they can build a website, teach senior citizens how to load an iPod, or how to use Skype,” she suggests. “There are some really interesting things that can be done in the field of technology.”
If you’re looking for a regular job and getting ready for an interview, it’s important to be well-groomed, according to Mark Hansen, author of “Success 101 for Teens.”
“Don’t dress for the job you have -- dress for the job you want,” he advises.
Above all, remember that it’s not all about you, Hansen says. Companies want to know how they’ll benefit from hiring you, so when you’re preparing for an interview, think about how you’d answer the question, “What can you do for the company?”
Money Gurus Teach Teens How to Follow Their Dreams
Two of Canada’s top financial gurus will be in Red Deer Saturday, November 3 reaching out to local teens interested in how to make their dreams become reality.
Authors and consultants, Dr. Denis L. Cauvier and Alan Lysaght will share the secrets of some of the world’s richest people during a workshop aimed at training youth in the basics of financial literacy and money making. Cauvier and Lysaght co-authored the internationally best-selling books “The ABCs of Making Money” and “The ABCs of Making Money 4 Teens”.
The Red Deer workshop is the pilot to a financial literacy project that will reach out to 27 communities across Alberta, said Denis Cauvier during a phone interview from his car on the way to an appearance in New York. The authors will do an hour-and-a-half, live presentation providing youth with skills and ideas on how to become financially successful and independent.
“I’m just so passionate about the teen project,” said Cauvier who has two teenage daughters at home. “Financial freedom equals options.”
The workshop is “not a theoretical or academic approach,” he said. “We will show them how they can attain their goals while having fun and leading a balanced life, which is very important to this demographic.”
The workshop was arranged by Community Futures and will take place at the Red Deer Memorial Centre. Entrance is a nominal $10. and each participant will receive a copy of the Teen book. Tickets are available through the Community Futures office or the charity website www.givemeaning.com/project/Moneytalk. The authors will stay after the presentation to answer questions and talk about ideas. Local youth organizations like Junior Achievement and 4-H will be on hand to network with interested youths.
While doing research, the authors discovered some “shocking facts” about North American youth and their spending habits, said Cauvier. Teens spend $175 billion a year. Most parents do not give their children financial coaching to make good choices and most youth have no access to financial literacy training.
“The under 24 year-olds are the fastest growing age group filing for bankruptcy!” said Cauvier. It has become Cauvier and Lysaght’s mission to educate youth in financial management.
The authors interviewed hundred of self-made millionaires in the process of writing their first collaborative work, Cauvier explained. In that process they identified several characteristics shared by these successful people and from this they created the ABCs.
The first, or “A”, characteristic most millionaires share is their Attitude about money and success, said Cauvier. “B” is Behavior and how they invest their time. “C” is how they Create money. Seventy-four percent of all self-made millionaires own one or more businesses, he stated.
Cauvier and Lysaght took the ABCs and then applied it to create “The ABCs of Making Money 4 Teens”. Along with the basic strategies of money management the authors share stories of teens who have made thousands or even millions by developing their hobbies into entrepreneurial endeavors. The book uses easily understood language as well as colorful pictures, graphs and charts.
Dr. Denis Cauvier is an entrepreneur and consultant who has conducted seminars and workshops for businesses and organizations around the world for the past 20 years. Alan Lysaght is a Strategic Planning Consultant, writer and researcher specializing in “turn-around solutions” for businesses and individuals. Cauvier and Lysaght have been training and consulting together for 10 years during which they created the ABCs of Building Successful Organizations TM solutions. www.abcguys.com