Finding What Is Available

    “Finding What Is Available,” New Era, Apr. 1971, 42

    Vacation Jobs

    Finding What Is Available

    The two most common ways of finding a summer job are—

    1. Wait around and see what comes your way, and

    2. Get out and look, ask people, and keep looking until you find something.

    A good approach is to consider how many hours you want to work each day and then to spend the same amount of time working for yourself by looking for a job. Don’t stop until you’ve found a job or know why none is available. However, don’t wait until summer to begin finding out what is available. Many jobs are secured six months in advance.

    With millions of youth looking for vacation employment, one of the first things you should consider is what kind of job might be available. For youth in the United States, here are a few of the typical jobs suggested by the U.S. Department of Labor:



    delivery boy

    engineering aide

    sales girl

    survey worker


    telegraph operator


    mother’s helper

    car washer

    nurse’s aide

    newspaper carrier








    laboratory assistant

    ticket taker

    telephone operator



    office clerk

    farm worker

    library attendant

    produce picker




    produce packer



    greenhouse worker


    camp counselor

    cannery worker



    window washer

    messenger boy




    Of these possible jobs, consider the ones you can do. If you have a special skill or talent, such as typing, drawing, woodworking, shorthand, swimming, or bookkeeping, or a special knowledge in some area, such as mechanics, electricity, or plumbing, then you should try to get a summer job that will let you use what you already know.

    In many areas, the supply of available workers outnumbers the employment opportunities. The best way to determine what is or will become available is to ask. It is also important to know who and where to ask. A few possible sources are listed below. These will vary, as will the types of available jobs, depending on where you live.

    1. Family. It helps to know someone who can help you find out about job openings. Friends and neighbors are also good sources of job information and will often put in a good word for you.

    2. Past employers. You may be rehired or may obtain referrals to other potential employers.

    3. State employment service offices. There is no charge in the United States for this service.

    4. Private employment agencies. These exist in most countries. Most such agencies will charge you a percentage of your first month’s paycheck and sometimes a registration fee.

    5. Newspaper want ads. Some magazines and specialty publications also carry classifieds. You might also find that placing a “situation wanted” advertisement will help you land a job.

    In addition to the above list, if you are from England, Scotland, Ireland, or North Wales, contact the Labor Exchange in your area. The Youth Employment Services will be able to provide additional help for those under eighteen. In addition to the above services, which are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Labor, there are private labor exchanges that might be helpful to you.

    Canadian Saints of all ages can secure help in finding jobs through the National Employment Service.

    The National Employment Agency will help young people in Australia find available job openings.

    Young people in New Zealand can contact the local labor exchanges, which are operated by the Ministry of Employment.

    6. The yellow pages or advertisement section of the telephone directory. This can often give you ideas of businesses to check with, as well as their addresses.

    7. Managers or personnel sections in various companies.

    8. Unions. Check your telephone directory for specific unions and their addresses—painters, bricklayers, and so forth.

    9. Read newspaper articles for information about present or forthcoming construction projects as well as new businesses moving into town.

    10. The Chamber of Commerce can give you information on new companies and building sites.

    11. State and national parks in the U.S. Vacation jobs in these areas are usually filled early. It is good to make application long before school is out. Often supportive service jobs open up again during the latter part of the summer season. The National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., publishes a mimeographed statement on summer employment in the nation’s parks.

    12. U.S. federal agencies. Summer jobs in federal agencies are limited and you need to apply early. Many will not accept applications after February. Check with your local civil service information center.

    13. High school counselors and student placement centers in colleges can supply you with information on many of the above sources, as well as information on more unusual employment openings.

    If you are under eighteen years of age, be sure to check the law. U.S. federal and state labor laws have been set up for the protection of workers under the age of eighteen. If you are under eighteen, why not inquire about a summer vacation job in an office or retail store, as a business messenger, on a farm, doing landscape gardening, delivering newspapers, or caddying? To be sure that your employment is legal and that the hours and job are permitted (state laws vary as to how late and how many hours you may work), check with your school principal or public employment office. Also check to see whether a work permit is required.

    Labor laws in many areas also have provisions concerning sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds. Inquire about manufacturing jobs, retail store positions, service jobs, and office or clerical employment. By obtaining an age or employment certificate, you will have proof of your age for your firm and will be protected. In some states this certificate is required.

    Don’t quit looking. Many vacation jobs do not become available until July or August. Working part of the summer is better than not working at all.