How To Find A Job to Fit Your Schedule

Dog walking and babysitting are great options in the Lake Forest community


Kayla Wisneski, Editor

Once the clock hits 3:20 p.m., students go in hundreds of different directions. Some go to sports practice, some to theater rehearsal. Some head home to relax after the long school day. But for some students, the end of the school day signals that it’s time to go to work. 

There are hundreds of jobs for teens in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff. But with some jobs, it can be hard to work the structured hours on top of being a student. I recommend looking for a job such as baby or pet sitting, dog walking, or something of that nature. These jobs allow for a much more flexible schedule and pay. 

But how do you find one of these jobs? There are actually quite a few ways! You could make a flier to hand out, talk to your neighbors and friends, or use Next Door. But once you’re in contact with someone, there are a few steps you need to take.  

The meet-up

This is an extremely important part of the process, almost like an interview. If you’re being trusted to take care of someone’s pet or child, chances are they’re going to want to meet you beforehand. While usually less formal than a job interview, that doesn’t mean you should be any less prepared. I would recommend dressing in a way that makes you look put together. You don’t have to wear a suit, but maybe leave your sweatpants at home. 

Chances are your interviewer is going to ask you questions about yourself, school, your future plans, experience, etc. You don’t need a script, but have some answers ready in your head. Just like in an interview: speak clearly, smile, and don’t rush!

Setting a price  

This may seem like it would be somewhat awkward, but it doesn’t have to be. Setting a price should be a mutual agreement, something both parties are comfortable with. Sometimes your employer will suggest a price, and sometimes they will ask you what your rate is. In either situation, have an amount ready in your head. The popular babysitting rate in Lake Forest is $10 an hour, but that doesn’t mean it has to be your rate.

Don’t be afraid to say no

While the prospect of earning your own money is exciting, it’s important to remember that there is such a thing as overworking. You need to be able to balance working with your school work, and your social life. Work shouldn’t be the only thing you do. If you’re not available, politely decline. Don’t feel pressured to say yes. Also, over committing will actually hinder you from working. Often, you will be asked to work at random, and if you’re over booked, you won’t be able to. Keeping as open a schedule as possible will allow you to work as often as you want. But once again, don’t forget to leave time for yourself!