With the holidays approaching, many preteens and teenagers get odd jobs in order to earn money for Christmas gifts and classroom parties. While jobs such as raking leaves and shoveling snow provide kids with the cash needed to purchase presents for mom and dad, other gigs allow your child to earn money and learn. Selecting a job that utilizes your child’s strengths promotes personal growth as well as profit.

Administrative tasks

Does your child read and write well? If so, allow them to share their communication skills with others who cannot. Many adults in the Austin community lack the knowledge and skills needed to complete applications, read food and drug labels, and correspond with others. These adults would benefit from having an intelligent and discreet youngster who could assist them with such responsibilities. Does your child already help you with such tasks? If so, let me them extend their talents to next-door neighbors or church members for a fee. Your child can decide whether to charge by the hour or assignment. Completing these tasks for others will enhance their communication skills and give them experience with documents they will use in the future.

Computer assistance

Are programs like Microsoft Word and Power Point a part of your child’s daily homework? Does your child prefer the Internet to the library? If this is the case, he/she can offer their computer training services at a cost. Your child may teach Ms. Robinson up the block how to write a memo or help Mr. Daniels from across the street research statistical information using the World Wide Web. If you prefer others not to use your home computer, have your child take his/her trainees to an area library. Most have computers available for public use.


Perhaps your son is an all-around whiz kid and is especially good at helping others. Then tutoring would be a great way for him to earn money. As a tutor your child would help other students-either younger or the same age-with specific skills in academic subjects such as math, reading, and social studies. An effective tutor uses a variety of methods to help clients understand the material. Therefore, it’s important that your child is not only knowledgeable, but resourceful. Encourage your son to start with the children of adults you trust since they will probably be working in your home. A reading room in a public library may also work well if a quiet location is needed.

Greetings cards

If arts and crafts are your child’s specialty, then divert their creative energies toward the greeting card industry. They can draw fascinating designs on a folded piece of colored card stock and write endearing sentiments inside. They may even want to design personalized cards depending on clients’ wishes. Your child may begin creating cards for family members, but once their cards get in the right hands, requests for his/her services will increase.


If your child is already a natural animal lover, he/she will enjoy pet-sitting. Increase your child’s allowance for pet-sitting tasks such as walking the dog, cleaning the hamster cage, or brushing the kitty. Then increase their level of knowledge about animals by requiring them to read about their subject. There are a great number of pet trade books at local libraries and pet stores. Reading this information, your child will gain the insight needed to take better care of pets.

Organizing household items

Books, CDs, and DVDs are just a few of the items that constantly need organizing in most homes. Whether organizing by color, alphabet, or category, your child will sharpen their classification skills. The best thing about organizing is that it prepares your child for any job they select in the future. It is a much-needed skill in professions like teaching, accounting, and parenting. So save the cluttered closets and cabinets for you son/daughter, so they can become better equipped for their future profession.

Teach your child that they can enjoy a job. By allowing them to use their talents to earn money, you are helping them understand the true meaning of a career. Confucius, a notable philosopher, once stated, “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” Let this guide your child in their search for an odd job as well as a future profession.