Creative Volunteer & Job Ideas for Teenagers

teenage girl with her resume

Is it time to start earning money or building a resume? Are you saving up for college or a car?

No matter the motivation, working and volunteering is a rite of passage for most teenagers. But when you have no previous work experience, or you’re a busy high school student with extracurricular commitments, your options can seem limited.

Luckily, there are creative volunteer and job ideas for teenagers who are new to working or require flexibility in their schedules. Here at Options Schools, many of our students successfully volunteer and work while pursuing their diplomas and fulfilling their extracurricular responsibilities. That’s why we’re here to share creative job ideas to help you earn money, build your resume, and find something you enjoy. Contact Options Charter School today!

Job Ideas for Teens

It’s common for teenagers to seek part-time employment in retail or food service; but often these jobs require fixed hours that don’t offer the flexibility a typical high school student would require. Plus, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly difficult to find steady part-time work.

Fortunately, there are creative job ideas for teenagers that not only give them the flexibility to set their own hours and pay rates but to channel their skills and interests and build a network of employers.

Babysitter or Nanny

Do you enjoy spending time with children? Are you good at engaging with young children and keeping them entertained?

If you’re interested in babysitting, now is the time to put yourself out there and connect with families in need of child care in your area. With summer approaching, parents are contemplating whether to send their children to daycare or camp during the day ‒ something many parents may be reluctant about because of high costs and the higher risk of exposure to COVID-19.

See which families in your neighborhood need a babysitter. Your parents may have friends who are in need of child care on the weekends or in the evenings. Even parents who work from home during the day may be looking to hire a babysitter.

There’s also the option of nannying, which is similar to babysitting but comes with more responsibilities. In addition to watching the children, nannies are often expected to spend more time with the children, drive them, cook for them, help them with their homework, and get them ready for bed.

While vetting and connecting with families in your area, consider enrolling in a first aid and CPR course, as this is as a qualification that will distinguish you from other babysitters or nannies.

Lawn Mowing & Yard Work

Do you enjoy spending time outdoors, working up a sweat, and doing yard work? Lawn mowing is a great summer job, especially if you live in a neighborhood with busy professionals or older individuals who aren’t able to take care of their yards.

Knock on people’s doors and ask if they need any help this summer mowing their lawns. You can also put out flyers, post your availability on Facebook, and have your family recommend you to friends and co-workers.

Once you’ve established a good rapport with your lawn mowing clients, let them know you can assist them with other yard chores throughout the year, like planting, raking leaves, shoveling, mulching, weeding, or gardening. You could even offer to clean the insides of their houses!

Dog Walking & Pet Sitting

Dogs need daily walking, but busy owners may not always have the time to do it. As a dog walker, you’ll not only build great relationships with the dogs you walk but also with their owners, who can then refer you to other dog owners they know.

Before agreeing to walk a dog, meet and spend time with them. Make sure you’re comfortable walking them for long distances.

Staying consistent and going for walks around the same time every day are key to nurturing a good relationship and building trust with both the dog and the owner. You can also offer to watch the dogs and other pets when their owners go out of town. After all, many pet owners are often reluctant to send their pets to kennels and feel much more comfortable having someone they trust watch and spend time with them.


Do you excel in a certain area of school? With online learning becoming increasingly popular, there’s plenty of opportunities to tutor other students not only in your local community but outside of it.

First, put yourself out there as a tutor in your neighborhood. Your family may know other families who are looking to hire a tutor in the summertime. Once the new school year commences, there may even be parents who work from home and need someone to assist their children with online schooling, and your flexible schedule may allow for it.

There’s also online tutoring, which opens more opportunities to tutor students in other parts of Indiana or the country.

Volunteer Opportunities for Teens

Volunteering is a great way for teenagers to not only build their resumes but gain leadership and communication skills they can use later on in college and the workforce. Many creative job ideas for teens can also become volunteer opportunities, but there are many other options.

If you’re looking to get involved in your community, see which non-profit organizations in your area are currently accepting volunteers. Places like animal shelters, soup kitchens, and the YMCA are good places to start.

In the past, nursing homes and hospitals accepted volunteers more readily, but it may be more difficult to find these types of volunteer opportunities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even if you can’t find volunteer work in a hospital or nursing home, there are other ways you can give back to the sick and elderly. Offer to walk dogs, run errands, clean, do yard work, or grocery shop for elderly or sick individuals.

You can also fundraise for different causes, coach youth sports, get involved with a community garden, or collect and donate books, clothes, toys, and food year-round or during the holidays.

Any time you give back to the community in any capacity, whether on your own, with a group of friends, or under a volunteer organization, you can add the experience to your resume.

Be Proactive with Creative Volunteer & Job Ideas

From a resume perspective, working and volunteering in your teenage years demonstrates a strong work ethic. But from a character building perspective, these are invaluable experiences that can teach skills and teamwork, shape your identity, and make you a more compassionate and focused individual.

At Options Schools, we’re committed to helping our students flourish academically, in the workforce, and in the community. If you need help finding creative volunteer opportunities and jobs, we’re here for you. Contact us today!