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June 26, 2007 > Summer Jobs in the Tri-City Area

Summer Jobs in the Tri-City Area

By Anne Chan, M.S.

Summer is here, bringing with it balmy temperatures, trips to the beach, fun in the sun, and . . . complaints from teens that there is nothing to do. If you are a teen who gets bored in the summer, a parent with such a teen, or you are simply looking for a summer job - this article is for you.

It's not too late to get a summer job in the greater Tri-City area. Working in the summer has loads of benefits, including:

* Earning cash for spending and saving
* Gaining work experience to put on your resume
* Meeting new people
* Learning skills that will likely help you in the future
* Building your confidence
* Having fun (yes, work can be fun)

Many people believe the myth that you need work experience to get a summer job. Although some employment history is always helpful, you do not have to have actual work experience to get a summer job. Everyone starts from zero at some point in their careers.

There are many opportunities for all kinds of summer jobs in the Tri-City area. Here are some leads to help you land a great summer job:

1. Check out job opening notices in the cities of Fremont, Milpitas, Hayward, Union City, and Newark. At time of this writing, both Fremont and Newark were advertising part-time/temporary jobs for older teens:

http://www.ci.fremont.ca.us/Employment/RecreationJobs/default.htm
http://www.haywardrec.org/employment.htm
http://www.ci.newark.ca.us/jobs/
http://www.ci.union-city.ca.us
http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov

A good possibility for those interested in law enforcement careers is to work as a police aid, an entry-level position that gives you firsthand exposure to a police department. When this article went to press, the City of Newark was hiring a Police Services Aide I. This position does not have many requirements for applicants: you have to be at least a junior in high school and have an interest in the Law Enforcement field. The salary range is $9.50 - $12 per hour.

2. Another avenue to explore is internships. Some are paid, others do not pay, but they all provide excellent training and exposure to a field. For instance, a unique Sunol internship offers interns the opportunity to learn about running an organic farming business. This internship is particularly appropriate for folks with an interest in organic farming or those who want to start a small agriculture business. There are no age restrictions in this internship, but interns must enroll at Ohlone College to receive 3 credits for the internship. An added advantage of this internship is its flexibility - interns are required to work 120 hours, but they can choose their work schedules and work as little as four hours each week. For more information on this learning opportunity, email baianicchia@yahoo.com

3. Local summer jobs and internships are also advertised on www.craigslist.org. I often come across cool jobs on this website and I promise you will find something interesting when you visit.

4. The Tri-Cities One-Stop Career Center in Fremont is another great local resource that offers help for people looking for summer employment. Visit them at 39155 Liberty Street, B200 (510)794-3669. Their services are open to all residents of California.

Eastbay Works in Hayward is another local resource that has a youth employment support program. They are located at 24100 Amador Street, 3rd Floor, Hayward, CA 94544. Phone: (510)670-5700.

5. Another way to get a summer job is to create one. Be an entrepreneur! You can set up your very own business specializing in yard maintenance, cleaning, car detailing, tutoring, pet sitting, developing websites, and so forth. These services are very much in demand and it is definitely possible for you to create and operate a lucrative venture.

Don't hesitate to follow your passion when thinking about creating your summer business. If you love children, be a babysitter. If you are crazy about canines, open up a dog-walking service. If organizing and helping out is your game, you could be a personal assistant or mother's helper. Of course it takes some effort to getting your business started - for starters you have to let people know you are open for business. A great way to do this is through www.craigslist.org or your neighborhood listserve. You can also post fliers around your neighborhood or in specialty stores that target the group likely to hire you. For instance, one summer, I posted babysitting fliers in upscale children's stores and was quickly flooded with requests to babysit. That summer, I was one busy (and happy) babysitter.

6. Parents are surprisingly good sources for summer jobs (contrary to what their children might think). Often, their workplaces need temporary help. Family friends are also likely to know of good summer job prospects. An inside contact can be invaluable in getting you through the door to a terrific summer work position. Businesses always need help in the summer and it is a smart strategy to ask those around you for leads.

7. Popular options for summer job seekers are fast food restaurants, grocery stores, recreation centers, movie theaters, shopping malls, theme parks, cafes, restaurants, and hotels. Check out the "Help Wanted" signs the next time you are at Newpark Mall and ask if they would consider hiring you for the summer. You might have good luck asking local mom-and-pop businesses such as bakeries, florists, and small grocery stores. People who run their own businesses often need assistance, so do not hesitate to ask!

Some advice as you search for the perfect summer job:
* Be aware of companies that ask for money upfront. You should not have to pay to get paid!
* Likewise, be wary of jobs that promise you incredible salaries for very little work. As the saying goes, if it's too good to be true, it probably is.
* Dress neatly and act professionally and courteously when you approach people for a summer job. This is true even if you are just inquiring about hiring possibilities. No one wants to hire a slob or someone with a poor attitude.
* Fill out application forms neatly and legibly. Do not rush when you fill them out. Remember - first impressions count and a messy or carelessly written application creates a terrible first impression of you.
* If you have no prior work experience, you can still tell people that you have proven yourself through your grades, school attendance, and your participation in clubs or sports. If you have had an excellent attendance and grades, make sure you mention this to your prospective employer.
* One way to be an asset in the workplace is by bringing ideas to your employer to help increase profit and productivity. Many companies appreciate, value, and welcome new workers for their enthusiasm and fresh perspectives.

It takes work to find work, but the effort is certainly worthwhile when you land that great summer job. Write to me about your adventures looking for summer jobs!

Anne Chan is a licensed psychotherapist and career counselor in Union City. She can be reached at annechan@midlabs.com or 510-744-1781.

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