As I write this, I am sitting in a primary school classroom. I know, a long regression from a master in business 10 years ago! Except this time, I am sitting at the teacher’s chair. It is the first week of school and my mum, who is a teacher, needed someone to supervise the after school homework hour. I am not doing it for the thrill of a teacher’s salary, but it requires virtually no work aside from leading the kids to the classroom, counting them, waiting for an hour and letting them go. And it is a 5 minute bicycle ride away from home.
Getting paid to sit and write this post, why not? When my mum asked me, it had been a long time since my last assignment, at least 7 years. But since my teen years, my mum has always managed to get me a ton of jobs.
Piano teaching jobs
My mum was the person in charge of religious education at my private school. She took 15 years off teaching to raise my sister and I but went back to our middle school when we were in our early teens. She talked to the music teacher at lunch and learned there were a few parents who wanted their kids to learn how to play the piano but didn’t have a big budget. The following week, I had my first three students at lunch time in the music room, for $20 a pop. Some months I already had the 5 lunches booked so I got more students on Saturdays.
Money made: at least $60 a week for two school years.
Baby sitting jobs
As the person in charge of religious education, my mum, like a pastor, often had families come talk to her, and some overwhelmed mothers looking for baby-sitters. One of them was my worst job as a teen and exploited me shamelessly but most mums were fair and lovely to deal with.
It was a wealthy neighborhood, I remember charging rates that made me feel like a millionaire.
Money made: about $40 per night from age 12 to 18, once a month at the very least.
I remember my mum asking me to help three siblings, whose parents had just been through a divorce, and who were struggling with their homework. One of the not so good things with tutoring is that you get a fair rate of $20 or $25 per hour but you have to get there and back at it usually takes half an hour of your time before and after. But when you have three customers, under the same roof, that is pretty awesome! I would spend 40 minutes with each of them, and get around $50. Again, as a 13 year old. Then my mum got me another sweet deal with two brothers for EVERY single night of a school year, I had to pick them up, take them home, do homework and put them in their PJs. 5 to 7pm every night, $100 a week.
Money made: around $4,000 per school year.
School supervising job
After we graduated from high school, my mum went back to being a primary school teacher and for a few years, she was even the school’s headmaster. So she was free to hire anyone to do a random list of jobs. Apparently there were a lot of people who were not very reliable at her school, taking long sick leaves, coming to work only when they felt like it, so my mum took me on as the chaperon for school trips, or to take the class to the stadium or the swimming pool. I was also hired at lunch time to make sure the kids were eating properly. Being available at lunch time conflicted with my college classes so I did it only for a while but it was fun while it lasted.
Money made: A free lunch and about $20 for a two hour lunch shift for a few months.
Substitute teaching jobs
I am not a teacher, but you can teach primary school if you have a BA in anything. So when that teacher who was supposed so come back from sick leave didn’t, I started teaching third grade. Again, it conflicted with my college schedule and didn’t last long, but making $100 a day when I had a $400 monthly scholarship to live on was really cool.
Money made: About $100 for a full day.
My mum is so smart. She found a way to have me off pocket money super early and have me out of the house, yet not doing drugs or getting pregnant, most days after school and the weekends. Parents, learn from her!
You should use your network to get more jobs too
I am an introvert. My mum loves to talk to people and people often tell her their problems, which she used to solve by offering my services. What a team! Seriously though, she never got my sister ONE job. Because my sister, by her own word “has always been taken care of and is unable to take care of herself”, but also because she didn’t ask for a job! (After writing this I asked my mum if my younger sister ever took one of those jobs and she answered “no, she was studying!”. My sister spent 4 years finding herself with a psychology degree then 3 years becoming a daycare staff while I had two majors then went to business school.)
Your family, your friends, your network, is an AMAZING source of jobs. First because they will hire you just with a smile. Your circle knows your worth without having to look at a piece of paper to confirm you are able to do XYZ. Then because they are flexible. My mum hired me for a day here and there, had she needed to hire someone she would probably have done the job herself to save herself the trouble. Finding casual employment with people you don’t know will be much harder. Finally, you will learn about the job opportunity first hand if you open your ears. Sick colleague? Parent starting a business? Peak of activity at work? Ask if you can fill in and lend a hand. After I accepted that one hour gig, my mum gave me seven more dates. You never know what a temporary shift can lead to.
Time to go, thanks mum for just making me $27!
On a related topic I talk about the ways I made money as a teenager on Teens Got Cents.
Have you ever used your network to get a job?
This post was featured on the Financial Carnival for Young Adults, Yazekie Carnival, DQYDJ, Len Penzo, Financial Carnival for Young Adults 80’s edition, Personal Finance, Carnival of Wealth, Carnival of Personal Finance, Your PF Pro, thank you!
Financial Independence says
Some great hustles here! The key is to be flexible and take advantage of what opportunities come your way.
Financial Independence recently posted…Understanding Diamond Prices
Exactly, if you open your eyes a bit there are tons of potential jobs around.
The Norwegian Girl says
I got my first job after high school through my BF´s mom, being her teacher assistant:-)
The Norwegian Girl recently posted…Parliamentary Election Night! – An insight into Norwegian Politics
TA jobs are awesome, and they pay really well, you were lucky to get one!
Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says
What a great mom you have, Pauline! I am working too, with my kids, to try and teach them and help them to be entrepreneurs who are always on the lookout for work.
Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…The Frugal Farmer’s Getting Married!
The sooner the better, I see the difference with my brother who is 16 and has never worked, he just expects his pocket money and has no savings goals to buy something awesome and work for it. Kids are easy to hire as it’s a low rate, they are more flexible, and brand new so they have no bad habits, whereas it is harder to re-format a person who has worked 30 years at the same job.
FI Pilgrim says
As an IT guy, I’ve never lacked people asking me for help with their computer problems. My only problem was trying to convince my mom not to volunteer my services for free to all her friends!
FI Pilgrim recently posted…Planning To Have Kids? Don’t Buy That Minivan Just Yet
haha that’s a tough one, charging family and friends. I don’t know how my mum did it but she always got me nice rates.
Thomas | Your Daily Finance says
Looks like mum is a hustler or at least good at finding and pointing them out! Its amazing when I hear people say that they can find a job or make extra money and there you were not even 25 making decent extra cash. I find that networking is very essential for me especially since I am an introvert. I try to teach our kids similar to how your mum showed you.
Thomas | Your Daily Finance recently posted…Using a Scalable Business Model with Niche Websites to Go After Real Income
I was still a minor for most of those gigs! My mum had a tight budget when she got divorced so started hustling on top of her primary teacher job, now she has a good client base and still is a great example when she loses a client and goes looking for another one.
DC @ Young Adult Money says
That’s such a great gig! Supervising after-school homework hour would seriously be an awesome side $ as long as the kids didn’t act up. This post reminds me that I would really like to do some more freelance Excel Spreadsheet work, but the blog takes up so much of my time that it might be wise to keep plugging away at blogging instead.
DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…Here’s My Definition of Wealth. What’s Yours?
You can try to use the blog to land spreadsheet work maybe?
Great job making side income, Pauline~ That sounds like an easy job!
Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…My Frugal Weekend Getaway with Credit Card Rewards
Lyle @ The Joy of Simple says
What a wonderful mother. She obviously saw great potential in your abilities to adapt to many side hustles and she wasn’t wrong 🙂
More importantly though, as a teen back then you could have acted differently but you didn’t. You saw the opportunities and were financially independent at a young age. Way to go!!
Thanks for a fun post and take care.
All the best.
Lyle @ The Joy of Simple recently posted…What A One Gig MP3 Player Taught Me About Living!
Thank you Lyle, yes I imagine parents know they kids before they know themselves. I am glad I started early and finished early.
Demaish @ Borrowed Cents says
I cannot remember doing it but congrats to you for making some good money.
Demaish @ Borrowed Cents recently posted…Adapting to the no back to school life
Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says
I’ve never really used my mother to get me a job in my adult life but she definitely has gotten me babysitting jobs when I was younger. I’ve used my professional network, definitely. It’s really valuable.
Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter recently posted…A Case for Tap Water
Matt Becker says
Wow, lots of cool opportunities. I think people, myself included at times, can be reluctant to draw on their networks because they feel like it’s cheating. But the people we know are really our best resources for finding opportunities. Good work by your mom teaching you that lesson early on.
Matt Becker recently posted…The Peer-to-Peer Lending Numbers They Don’t Want You to See
I felt like it was cheating when I went to business school and she called her friends who worked good jobs at big firm to get me an internship. I got my internship on my own, sending my curriculum around. But for a teen, you are already learning to work, learning about money, etc. I think it’s fair that this one step is made easy.
You are right that using your network can lead to big opportunities but I would be uncomfortable trying that.
John S @ Frugal Rules says
Your Mom sounds a lot like mine – though she never got me any jobs out of it. 😉 However, we’re regularly using our network to get jobs for our business. You never know who someone might know and it’s silly to not use it.
John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted…When It Comes To Investing, Be The One Who Dives In Head First
I wouldn’t push because I’m not a seller but yes, if I hear someone is doing XYZ and I happen to have the skills to help I would ask.
jefferson @See Debt Run says
this is great advice.. it is very smart to use both your skillset and your network to make extra money.
jefferson @See Debt Run recently posted…See Debt Run – a September Update
My Dad was a very hardworking, well respected businessman, and I had several people ask him if I could work for them. This led to my first real job making the “machine wash warm, tumble dry” labels for jeans. He also got me a job at a convenience store that his friend was opening. Everyone knew I would be reliable or my Dad would hear about it. It is very odd to think about now, but my younger sister never had a job, except one month working at Sears one Christmas. She honestly never worked until she graduated from dental school. Obviously she could support herself as a dentist, and she works a little bit, but she married a surgeon, and he pretty much funds their lifestyle. What is it about the oldest kid and having them work, while the younger one doesn’t? I wouldn’t trade though. I don’t want to find out, but I’m pretty sure I would be fine on my own, but my sister would have a really hard time.
Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted…Should We Buy Another Rental Property?
Maybe they’re making us pay because it was hard for them being first time parents? haha I wouldn’t trade either, sometimes I was annoyed that she had it so easy but I wouldn’t have wanted to ask for money to go out or be struggling like she is now.
Mr. Utopia @ Personal Finance Utopia says
That’s great that your mom was so helpful in getting you gigs. That allowed you to learn both responsibility and the lessons of earning money at an early age. Very valuable!
Mr. Utopia @ Personal Finance Utopia recently posted…Wait Roth IRAs Actually ARE Evil!
and saved her a ton haha!
Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies says
Wow. My family was very different. If you did anything for anyone in the family it was a gift of your time and money wasn’t given. This included when my dad made all the kids come into his place of work and help with the store’s inventory because he was short staffed.
Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted…Reframing Receipts
I did an inventory for my aunt in a bookstore but her boss paid me. I would lend a hand for a few things and not get paid but if I had to go out of my way to do it, say spend a saturday night baby sitting cousins, I would get paid. If I was on holiday staying with my family and adults wanted a night out and left me with my cousins I would not get paid.
Nick @ AYoungPro.com says
I have had a side hustle putting up people’s Christmas lights in my sister’s neighborhood. That was all started because I volunteered to help my sister put her Christmas lights up. 🙂
Nick @ AYoungPro.com recently posted…Which Budgeting System is Right for You?
how cool, who would have known!
Your mum sounds amazing and I’m definitely going to try and do this for my daughter! To earn all that case as a teenager and end up with an education about money is brilliant!
debtfreeoneday recently posted…10 ways to reduce the cost of weddings without compromise
yes it was really nice to have money as a teen and learn how it was earned. You can find your kids plenty of small jobs around the neighborhood, I think it’s great they learn early.
Bryce @ Save and Conquer says
My mom got me a lunch time yard duty job at the junior high school that was across the street from the junior college I was attending. She knew the junior high school’s principal. My dad got me jobs as an auto mechanic as well as working on a prune farm during my high school summers. A college professor helped me land the job I have been working at for the past 28 years.
Bryce @ Save and Conquer recently posted…Create a Living Will (aka, Advanced Health Care Directive) at No Cost
A college professor, how nice to see teachers involved in their student’s future. That is awesome.
Romona @Monasez says
I like the using family and friends to find jobs part. This is by far the easiest way to find jobs. Usually if you know one who is seasoned at a company or business, you’re almost guaranteed the job which is great. My grandmother got me my first job ever working at a daycare after school. I worked two hours a day/five days a week and brought home $100 a week. It was pretty good money for the amount of work I did.
Romona @Monasez recently posted…Importance of a Savings Plan
I wouldn’t want my family to get me a job I don’t deserve but I was a really good teacher and baby sitter so I felt I deserved the job anyway. Then she tried to hook me up for an internship in a big firm and I said no.
Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans says
This is so cute and resourceful at the same time! My mom tries her best, but she hasn’t landed me any jobs yet. Hopefully when I have kids, I can help them with their own jobs, too!
Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans recently posted…Weekend Recap: Koinonia
It may seem insignificant but there are plenty of jobs your kids will be able to do for the neighbors, mow the lawn, walk the dogs etc and they would never ask themselves so you can really be a great help.
Budget and the Beach says
Wow your mum hooked you UP! That’s awesome!
yes she wanted to get an early ROI lol
Wow that’s awesome and every little bit counts. My mum and dad gave me a job for a few years as they owned 2 well known businesses so they were my network. When I moved to Canada after school I used my professors as my network and scored my first job by volunteering.
canadianbudgetbinder recently posted…The costs of being too nice
Volunteering also helps a lot, although I wouldn’t volunteer for a company making money out of my work. A charity, sure, a school play, sure, but not as an unpaid intern.
My Wealth Desire says
When I was in college I worked in the fast food. I earned minimum wage at that time and the minimum time we spend is 4 hour per day. Enough for me to buy watch and personal dictionary at that time. I think it think only 3 months because of conflict from class schedule.
My Wealth Desire recently posted…My Wealth Desire
Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies says
Wow, this is great that you were able to earn a bit of extra money this way! My Mum’s job is in finance and it’s so complex to this day I don’t know exactly what it is that she does 😛 But since I went to an English school (I was born in Russia) and started learning English at the age of 4, I started teaching English to my friends (to help them with their school assignments) and then started to freelance and teach English to children and students. I didn’t even do it for the money, I just loved being a “teacher” 😛 I’m thinking of starting to teach again, now I’ve got a relevant degree too and I know I’ll love it.
Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…Declutter and Move on a Budget
haha I have so many uncles and aunts I could say “I don’t know what their job is” about. it is indeed much easier to be teaching English when you learned yourself as a second language, I do it for Spanish too and know most rules natives just practice but couldn’t explain to a foreigner.
I think it’s really important to know where to look and also to be flexible and adaptable to opportunities that come your way. Great post!
Marissa@Financetriggers recently posted…How to Lower Your Car Insurance Fees
I really appreciate the link Pauline – glad your mother is still making the most of her resourceful daughter!
SarahN recently posted…Not too hot, not too cold, just right
Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa says
After reading about your experiences growing up, it is no surprise that you are the side hustle guru that you have become.
Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa recently posted…Too Good to be True: A Review of the Consumer Assistance Project
Joe @ Budget Breakaway says
Using your network is MUST! I gained my first freelance client from a friend of a friend and am about to secure one more the same way. Your network trusts you and this word of mouth is the perfect way to sell your services!
Joe @ Budget Breakaway recently posted…July 2014 Financial Update