Seasonal employment for teens |

Seasonal employment for teens

Sara Sturgis, The Park Record

Though teens may no longer feel the thrill and anticipation of a visit from Santa, the holidays usually bring cards stuffed with checks and gift certificates. However, even wintertime generosity may not cover a year of spending, leading many Park City teens to consider seasonal employment to extend their budgets.

Apart from a little extra spending money, jobs can help enrich students’ lives and give them real-world work experience. Danny Fisher, Career Technology Education (CTE) teacher at Park City High School, says that is something many high school and even college graduates lack. He encourages teens to "get out there and see how these different professions are in the field." Fisher says jobs can give students important experiences they can’t get in the classroom. "There’s a lot of intrinsic values students gain through working: the feeling of making your own money makes you feel independent; you can learn soft and hard skills that you don’t gain just through being a student."

There are some restrictions on employing minors that teens should be aware of before applying for jobs. Beginning at age 14, teens are permitted to work in retail, restaurants or offices (non-hazardous work). Because Utah regulations are not as strict as federal regulations, employers should still adhere to the stricter, Federal laws, according to the Utah Labor Commission’s website. Under federal law, teens ages 14 or 15 may not work more than three hours on a school day and may not work past 7 p.m. in the winter. Teens should also know that anyone under the age of 18 is entitled to a 10 minute break for every three hours worked.

Minimum wage in Utah is $7.25 per hour. Many restaurant jobs pay a much lower hourly rate (Hilton says those hourly wages can be as low as $3 an hour) but workers meet minimum wage requirements through tips. Hilton says retail jobs in Park City tend to pay about $9.00 – $11.00 per hour.

Sometimes, finding seasonal work can be more challenging than the work itself. According to Marina Hilton, a Department of Workforce Services employment counselor, many of the big seasonal employers, like Canyons Resort, have already filled all or almost all of their winter positions. However, many retail stores, especially at the Tanger Outlets, are still looking for part-time seasonal help. Teens can visit Tanger’s website ( to view open listings. Students are advised to get applications in as soon as possible before seasonal hiring slows.

Wilson’s Leather is one of the retail locations at the outlets looking for part-time help. Tiffany Heaph, Manager in Training at the store says that the most important qualities for an employee are that he or she be outgoing and personable. Elsha Smith, Store Manager at Vans, agrees: personality counts when it comes to retail work. Both managers suggest visiting the store in person when applying. Smith says applicants who fill out the online application then follow up in person have the best chances of being hired.

Deer Valley also has several part-time openings still available, that they will be looking to fill in the next few weeks. Christie Delbridge, Employee Relationships Manager at Deer Valley says the most important thing for students looking for a job is that they do the whole process themselves – without the help of parents. "They have to be responsible all the way through the interview and when they are working," she says. Delbridge also emphasizes the importance of dressing professionally for an interview and being personable, especially at Deer Valley, a resort that prides itself on excellent guest service. Current positions available at the resort include restaurant attendants and instructor assistants. Instructor assistants must be at least 16 and will help out with the ski school; restaurant attendants can be 14, says Delbridge.

Researching the application process and the job duties of a business you would like to work is one of the most important parts of applying for a job, says Hilton. Researching companies online or speaking to store managers can improve teens’ chances for getting a job. Fisher recommends creating custom resumes for each job. Highlighting past experience or skills that are pertinent to each job will help applicants stand out when employers skim resumes. Fisher says students shouldn’t be shy about asking parents and other adults to look over a resume.

Students at Park City High School looking to build a resume for future professional applications should also consider unpaid internships. Students can take the Work-Based Learning class at the high school and intern with a local business that interests them. Fisher is the advisor for the class and will place students in intern positions, or students can request a specific business. The required Financial Literacy class for juniors or seniors will also help prepare kids for applying to jobs.

There are still opportunities out there for teens, and now is the time to apply for seasonal jobs in Park City. Hilton has some words of wisdom for anyone seeking a job: "A good resume will get them an interview and a good interview will get them the job."

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