The Best First Jobs

Ginger Abbot

Feb 14, 2022
The Best First Jobs

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If you’re a student and currently looking for your first job, you might be wondering how to get one without any experience. Don’t worry! There are plenty of entry-level jobs available that don’t require any previous knowledge or formal skills.

The Basics of the Best First Jobs

There are many possibilities for first-time positions for those just starting in the workforce, especially if you’re okay with minimum wage pay that can accompany some valuable work experience.

1.   How to Find the Best First Job

First, try networking with neighbors in your community. Your parents might have co-workers who have dogs that need to be walked, or maybe your teacher knows of a server position opening at a local restaurant.


Networking is a vital part of helping you find work close to home. Additionally, networking can help you build connections. These relationships can turn into a personal reference, which is a crucial piece of any job application.

2.   Use Search Sites

If you wish to expand your search beyond what you found within your network, you can try your hand at job search sites.

  • Glassdoor is a great website to learn more about the employer you’ll potentially be working for. Use this to conduct employer research before applying for a position.
  • Indeed is one of the leaders in job search sites. It’s highly customizable – just enter in your specifications, and you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for.
  • Snagajob lists hourly jobs in retail, hospitality, food service, and other industries.

3.   Consider Student Apprenticeship Programs

One other option to try would be a student apprenticeship program. Many tech companies offer programs like this for students. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor provides a variety of services and apprenticeship programs to students.

Ten of the Best First Jobs

When you choose your first job, it’s essential to pick one thoughtfully, as it can impact some of the crucial professional skills you initially cultivate – maybe even altering the long-term trajectory of your career. Consider these ten best jobs before you start your first.

1.  Babysitter

Babysitting is a standard first job for teens. University students even choose to watch professors’ children because this profession is generally low stress and has a flexible schedule. The role of babysitter looks good on any resume, and the connections you make with families could serve as good references in the future as you look for other employment. 

2.  Lifeguard

Lifeguards provide safety and supervision at beaches, waterparks, and pools. If you’re a competent swimmer, consider applying for a lifeguard position at your local pool. Having the role on your resume would reflect leadership qualities and a high level of responsibility. You must know CPR to be a lifeguard, but most employers are willing to train on the job.

3.  Dog Walker

Become a dog walker and establish yourself with a couple of clients in your neighborhood, either organically or with the help of a dog walking app. This job’s responsibilities include caring for the dog, taking them on a walk, and ensuring they get the proper amount of exercise, as well as food and water after the walk. If you love animals or plan to go into an animal-related field, consider pursuing dog walking as your first job.

4.  Camp Counselor

If you want to get some real-world experience and earn cash, consider becoming a camp counselor. There are so many different camp experiences – academic-centered, arts, sports, and adventure- just some examples. You could try working at a local day camp in their program staff to see if you enjoy working with children. Having the experience will help you determine whether or not you want to pursue a particular career.

5.  Barista

A barista prepares and serves espresso-based drinks to customers in a coffee shop. This is a perfect first-time job for teens because they learn skills like interpersonal communication and often handle money, working the cash register. Another perk of this job is the tips, not included in the base pay!

6.  Cashier

Whether it’s retail, food service, or at a grocery store, working as a cashier can be a pretty good first-time job. The responsibilities of a cashier are to handle a customer’s merchandise, scan, and sometimes bag their items. Additionally, the cashier takes the customers’ money and processes any change. Managing money can be a very beneficial experience for any teen looking for work in the future as it shows responsibility.

7.  Fast Food Worker

While perhaps not the most glamorous first job in existence, a fast-food worker is a position in which many teens get their start. These positions make for great entry-level positions, and on average, they pay anywhere from $10 and $13 an hour. Not a bad wage if you’re still living at home.

8.  Car Wash Attendant

As a car wash attendant, you’d be responsible for cleaning and detailing a client’s vehicle. You would also interact directly with customers, answering any of their service-related questions. Another perk of the business is the client tips for a job well done! 

9.  Freelance Position

Freelance jobs offer flexibility in scheduling when your classes may be hectic, and your club engagements might be overwhelming. When you take on a freelance position, you can be your boss and take on jobs at your own pace. Do note this also means you’ll also only get paid when you finish those jobs. Consider freelancing in the following areas – writing, photography, translation, web design, search engine optimization, programming, or virtual assistance.

10.       Lawn Care Specialist

If you choose to work as a lawn care specialist, you can do so independently, mowing lawns and seeding grass on your own or working with a more prominent organization. The perks of deciding to go with a bigger company include a chance for advancement within a business and greater experience. However, if you’re looking for a simple mowing gig for the summer, going it alone might be the perfect choice for you, especially if you have previous experience working with your own family’s lawn and access to the proper equipment.

What’s the Best First Job for You

So what will you choose? Will you be a barista or a babysitter? A cashier or a camp counselor? The choice is yours, and your future is bright! Don’t forget to network in your community and use job search sites to expand your reach if needed.


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