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Finding the right job as a 16-year-old

Published: Wednesday 22nd March 2017

16-year-old working in a plumbers merchant

Working as a 16-year-old is as much about what you’re allowed to do than what you want to do. While it’s tempting to try to work as much as possible, for obvious reasons you’re limited by the law. For example, you’re not allowed to work before 7am or after 7pm or during school hours. Besides national laws, there are also local by-laws that may restrict employment. The national minimum wage for under 18s is set £4.00 an hour; this goes up to £4.05 from April 1st, 2017).

But what kind of jobs offer the best opportunities for 16-year-olds?

Retail jobs

Retail jobs such as Sales Assistants offer some of the best opportunities for a 16-year-old, especially for seasonal work during the summer holidays or in the run-up to Christmas.

Catering & Hospitality

Cafes and restaurants are just two of a number of establishments that offer opportunities, for example as a waiter/waitress or ‘front of house’ roles.

Home-based jobs

Think about what you can do from the comfort of your own home (web design or PHP development for example), or based from your home – dog walking, baby sitting are popular choices.

It’s often the classic chicken and egg situation – you can’t land a job until you get the experience but you can’t get the experience until you land a job. Consider volunteering to build up your CV, and above all be flexible – the one opportunity that presents itself to you may not be ideal but it’s the first step on a ladder. Think also about getting yourself some free business cards – a number of online print companies offer no-cost or shipping-only business cards that can be really useful for networking, especially useful if you are going the home- or own-business route.

Browse for suitable jobs on Zoek now. There’s a range of apprenticeships, part-time jobs and seasonal jobs, perfect for a 16-year-old.

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