I did lots of waitressing when I was younger and while I was never exactly rolling in money at the time, it taught me valuable lessons that have served me well in just about every other job I've had. Waitressing teaches you how to deal with rude people (unfortunately!), how to be exhausted and aching all over but still have a smile on your face, and how to be professional and friendly in the face of a stressful situation. It's pretty much the best base-level customer service experience you can get and you'll find that after doing it for a while your memory gets really good.
It can be really physically demanding work though, depending on the type of establishment you're employed at. I've worked in up-market restaurants where the focus was on looking perfect and doing everything in line with accepted etiquette. I've worked in busy coffee houses where it was all about making the same drinks perfectly at high speed and remembering who ordered what even when there are 50 people sitting at tables waiting for you to serve them.
I wouldn't EVER want to do it again (those days are behind me!) but I'm grateful for the valuable experiences it provided. Plus, I still make awesome coffees and can balance a tray of champagne flutes on three fingers
ROFL no, you get tipped on how well you serve them. I have worked in two restaurants. Even if you give the best service, and the food is the best they have ever had. You are not promised tips. There is no "Tip law", and sometimes, we got a nickel or a quarter as a tip. However, those were always the same people, we knew right when they came in that we were not going to get a good tip, but we did our best anyway.
It also is not only about patience. Being a server, or busser who works beside servers, you have to be fast. On top of everything, drinks, food, packing take home boxes. It is not like fast food where they order and you are usually done. You are with them from the time they get there to the time they leave, and no matterhow rude they are, no matter how tired you are from carrying tubs, heavy plates and how many lunches you have packed you have to have the same amount of energy.
Also, often a restaurant will hire you as a busser or delivery runner before you get the waiter/ess position. I have seen it in both places I worked and where my friends worked. So don't be surprised if they offer you something less first.
The absolute best job I can think of for a teenager is lifeguard, that shit pays insanely well. Especially at the college level, working at a college pool is a breeze I've been told. Colleges also tend to have job banks where you can do various jobs they need to fill on-campus, here those jobs pay well over minimum wage and they tailor your hour to your class schedule which is especially nice.
Is it better to work in retail? As opposed to food service? I suppose, in the sense that it would be better to just be lit on fire rather than cooked to death in a frying pan.
When I was a teenager, my first job was a Program Aide at an afterschool program. The kicker is, it was the same program I was in when I was a kid. I met a few good friends there and just overall had a good time. When I explained this to the manager, they were more than eager to let me on. It was a pretty decent job all around, and kept me going for a few years.
So I recommend trying to get a job in something that had a lot of influence on you as a kid.
I am pretty sure in most places if you are too young, you can have your parents sign some paperwork for you, and you can work some limited hours. (No nights, possibly no weekends.)
People tend to tip more if their waitstaff is confident, nice and helpful. Some people never ever tip because they have this weird idea that it is beneath them to do so and that waitstaff make plenty with their $3.00 an hour wage. I don't recall ever hearing anyone say they don't tip their waitstaff because the persin was young or old - mostly it is based on how you do your job. (I did have a relative who refused to tip because the waiter at a chinese restaurant was caucasian - but my family is full of weird people.)
Retail would provide a more assured income, but it is possible you might make more doing waitressing. In my experience, retail is worlds better than fast food as far as bad customers go, so I would personally recommend that, but then you may have a different experience.
I also forgot to mention, you might see if your local library is hiring for pages. Those a people that put books away for a living. Lots of libraries have page jobs with a small amount of hours, which is great for students and stay at home parents. They tend to hire underage folks, and you'll have the opportunity to work with the public there as well.
You may also try being a courtesy clerk at a grocery store. That involves taking in the carts out of the parking lot, cleaning up spills, and helping people take groceries back to their car. A lot of grocery stores are unionized, which would require you to join a union - but you'd get benefits from that.
I work at an Art museum as a Youth Apprentice but since were in the youth division we only work during the summer only to make about 400-500 dollars over all-_- (or less) While the experience is good, the pay bites @ss.
I think your job will benefit you the most if it has something to do that will benefit your career in the future. My summer job does so that's why I'm still there. (But of course I'm still aiming for another job)
But in terms of money, I was under the Impression that under age kids not 18 were paid minimum wage. I could be wrong.
Well, I work in a car dealership as a detailer, and while it's a service job, it's pretty great because I rarely have to deal with the customers. I just get to play with a pressure washer all day and listen to audiobooks while I work. Some of the nicer customers even tip me. Sure, some of the vehicles I have to clean are pretty nasty, but for unskilled labor it's a pretty good job. Plus, I get to drive all of the vehicles that the dealership owns, including the brand new supercharged Camaro.
While you can make good money as a waitress, it depends mostly on your customers and the restaurant policies. A lot of places have a shared tip rule anymore, and one bad co-worker can make for an unprofitable night.
One of the better jobs for young adults, where I live at least, is at convenience stores. They have pretty flexible hours and decent pay. Then again, I live in a place where there's maybe one armed robbery a year in the whole county, so it might be different for you...
Working at a car dealership seems like a pretty sweet deal, but I doubt I would get to drive the cars because you can't rent a car until you're 25...plus I don't live anywhere near a car dealership so I the money that I would make would go to gas money.
I'm a waitress at a fairly busy restaurant, and I enjoy it because I enjoy walking out at the end of my shift with cash on hand. However, wages vary day to day--sometimes I'll walk out with $20 and sometimes I'll walk out with $100. That's the thing that sucks about waitressing and bartending--your pay entirely depends on how many customers you get that day. It's hard to say "yeah, waitressing is good (or bad)" because it depends on what type of restaurant you work at and how busy it is on average during a shift. For example, waitressing at Ihop is great on weekend mornings, but weekday nights you're making shit for money.
Population isn't the only locational factor. You also need to consider the local economy, specifically in the different business areas where you might consider working.
For example, where I grew up, waitressing paid very little, and while tips were enough to make up for the lower wage, they didn't put anyone ahead. Except when it came to hunting season, which could earn waitresses up to $400 for a 6 hour shift.
Assuming you are in high school, you mainly just need a job to save up money from and say that you have work experience. And frankly, you are a bit at the bottom of the barrel with this, so you are pretty much going to work with the general public no matter where you try and go to.
As for getting a job that requires you to be 18, you have to be 18. Most of the time, this is due to legal and insurance reasons and they won't make an exception.
So just hang in there and enjoy and days off you get.
Sadly, all jobs that revolve service will likely make you lose faith in humanity. Quite a lot of people just happen to be idiots and/or incredibly ignorant, and if a large group of people pass you by during your work day, then you're obivously going to run into some seriously funky ones.
I can't give you much advice other than what's been offered, though. Make sure not to look like a mess, and people skills will definitely help you - work on things like stuttering and mumbling.
Waitressing works differently from place to place.
You might be forced to pool all your tips at some places, while others, you only have to tip your busser for cleaning off the tables.
Also, the business itself matters. If you're waiting at a place that serves mainly seniors, you're never getting tipped.
If you have the option, play the entire field. Retail, waitress, hostess, warehouse work, anything. Don't limit yourself to one or two fields if you can hit a larger pool of jobs.
If you're planning on working through college, I would suggest learning how to bartend as a possible option. It's well worth it if you know how to handle people. If you're good and work it well, the tips will add up. It's the best thing short of pole dancing and you get to stay dressed!
Plus, like knowing how to use a cash register, bartending can get you a job anywhere in the Western world. It's always a good back up plan.
I've never heard a single good thing about working at bars, ESPECIALLY from women, unfortunately. Quite frankly I think I'd rather be a stripper, at least there you're supposed to be checking out my bum.
When I managed a hobby shop one of my best customers was a woman who bartended. She wasn't as big a spender as the drug dealers, but as far as legitimate work goes, she was in the top 10 spenders. She was good looking, grew up with 5 brothers, and was a tender for like 10 years at that time. She knew her sports, she could handle jerks, always dressed nice.
She made a lot of money and had no problems being a career bartender.
My sister did it for a while and she was making crazy money on 3 days work until the place changed ownership and the 'renovations' chased away the core customers.
Ah, ten years. That's impressive and makes a lot more sense. The people I know who've done it or worked the general bar scene never lasted very long and I feel probably worked places a lot seedier than she did. It's mostly the sexual harassment that scars me, as all stories I've heard, it was rampant.
I was thinking about maybe picking up bartending while being a waitress at a restaurant? I don't turn 18 until August so I wouldn't be able to bartend in the immediate future. One of my friend's sister's has bartended and it sounds like a pretty sweet deal!
You can't really bartend unless you're old enough to drink. We have to be 18 here to do it. And unless you know the boss of the restaurant very well, and really push to get put on bar, you probably won't be. I had bar experience going into my last job, and I still wasn't allowed to work the bar. ¬¬