All about jobs: What the boss wants
Teen employees: work on your attitudes!

By Associate Editor Sue Doyle,
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Some Los Angeles area teens talked to L.A. Youth about jobs. They all remembered the first-time jitters associated with finding jobs, interviews and working with others. Here’s what they suggest.

Be flexible with schedules

Bravo Medical Magnet student Leo Martinez works with his mother at her bakery. The 15-year-old helps out in the kitchen making bread and also works behind the counter as a cashier. Leo’s job doesn’t interfere with homework since he only works on weekends and during school vacations.
Leo offers this advice to teens searching for jobs: "Be prepared to be flexible with your hours and be responsible. Sometimes employers don’t have a choice with the times they can offer you to work. So be ready for the commitment."

Dress up for interviews

Calina Ellis of Holy Nativity Tri-C applied with the Los Angeles County office last year and hoped for a summer job in a library, park or day care setting. The 14-year-old was turned down because she was tooyoung, but they kept her resume on file and called her in for an interview the following year. She wore a nice buttoned-down shirt and skirt to the interview, and was surprised that other teens didn’t do the same.

"I dressed up for it. I wanted to impress them. But some teens just wore regular clothes like jeans and T-shirts," Calina said. "I say dress to impress and have a good attitude."

Consider a job that will affect your future

Sancha Baucom of University High School was always curious about modeling and acting. One day her mother found an ad in L.A. Parent magazine for Facefinders, an agency where people take modeling classes. The 15-year-old joined, competed, made the final cut and was chosen to be a model.

During the competition, she got an agent who sent her out on tons of auditions—probably more than 50, Sancha said. "I got turned down for a lot of stuff, but got about 15 jobs," Sancha said.

Still, she learned a lot about the business along the way. She posed for a Macys ad and did some more modeling until the day came when she finally got her break in Beach Party, a Disney movie.
"I had to learn the lyrics and dances," Sancha said. "It was fun, but it’s a lot of work."

Launch your own business

This is the brochure Hassan created for his dog-walking service.

Hassan Nicholas of Hamilton Music Academy decided to start his own dog walking service. But first he had to get the word out about his new business.

The 17-year-old L.A. Youth artist used his computer to create colorful brochures, business cards and refrigerator magnets for "Hassan’s Dog Walking Service," using his uncle’s Printmaster Deluxe software. The brochures included his address, phone number, available hours and rates. Hassan charged $1.50 for a 10-minute walk around the block, $5 for a 45-minute stroll with one dog and $10 for an hour long walk with two dogs. He topped off his brochure with a motto: Every dog will come home with their tail wagging.

Then with all this literature in hand, Hassan distributed it to his neighbors.

A few days later Hassan received phone calls from five interested people. He ended up walking two mixed breeds named Babs and Rachel.

"I really like dogs, so I pretended they were my dogs," Hassan said.

Choose a job based on your interests, not just on money

Brittany Dryden, 17, is on her third job. The North Hollywood High School senior works behind the counter making espressos and other refreshments at Café Puccino and the Hollywood FreeZway, two restaurants at CityWalk. She enjoys her job and can eat cheesecake all day, which is one of the many perks about working there, Brittany said.

Before CityWalk, Brittany worked at Pacific Sunwear and Z Gallery, two shops found in local shopping malls. She’s attracted to jobs inside shopping centers, because of all the different people inside. She enjoys talking to people and by working in malls, she can do that all day long, Brittany said.

She got her first job through her father at Premiere Radio Networks, where she used to do voiceovers. She worked there two summers in a row.

Brittany offers this advice to teens: "Don’t go somewhere you’re not stoked about. The money won’t keep you content. If you don’t have a positive outlook on it, you shouldn’t be there."

Don’t overlook jobs right under your nose

Tiffany Washington of Palisades High School earns a few bucks each week without setting foot behind a counter. She babysits for her sister’s baby, Ta’joona. The 15-year-old didn’t actually seek employment though. She says that the job found her.

"It started out as me finding out what it would be like to have a baby," Tiffany said.

But her mother quickly recognized Tiffany’s gentle touch with the baby and recommended that she babysit on a regular basis. Tiffany took her up on the offer and has been sitting for Ta’joona ever since.

Sheena Jain of Peninsula High School in Palos Verdes also found a convenient way to earn money through babysitting. The 15-year-old had some help finding the job, and now she often sits for her neighbors.

"My mom is friends with my neighbor, so that’s how I got my job," Sheena said.