Introducing Add a Parent Feature

Mydoh was created to help parents teach their kids real-world money skills. And now it’s even easier to assist kids in understanding the value of money with our new Add a Parent feature

“The ability to add a second parent to your child’s Mydoh account at no additional cost was in  direct response to listening to our users,” says Rina Whittaker, Chief Product Officer at Mydoh. “It’s a feature that many Mydoh families needed and asked for. Enabling more than one parent or guardian to manage tasks, allowances, and send money, creates additional opportunities to share the responsibility of raising money smart kids.” 

By adding a second parent to your child’s account, both parents will also be able to teach kids financial literacy by keeping track of your kids’ spending and goals. 

The new Add a Parent feature gives both parents the ability to:

  • Add or edit tasks and allowances
  • Send money to your kids
  • Lock or unlock your child’s Smart Cash Card
  • Withdraw money from the shared wallet

How to Add a Parent or Guardian in the Mydoh app 

Adding an additional parent to your child’s account is simple:

  1. Go to settings in the Mydoh app
  2. Click on “Family Profile”
  3. Click “Add New”
  4. Select “Parent”
  5. Fill in the required details to add an additional parent

Learn more about raising money-smart kids at home with help from Mydoh. Download Mydoh and help build the foundation of financial literacy for your kids and teenagers.

How to Write a Cover Letter for Students

You’ve found a dream job posting and worked hard to create a polished resume. But before you submit your application, you need to write a cover letter. It’s an essential written document that accompanies your resume and showcases how your skills and work experience match up with the key requirements listed in the job description.

Of course, writing the thing is easier said than done, especially when it comes to creating a cover letter for students. Luckily, we’ve talked to the pros and got the 411 on cover letters. This article will cover how to address a cover letter to striking the right professional cover letter format to how to write a cover letter with no experience. Dive in and learn how you make the best first impression to a prospective employer.

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a one-page written introduction to a prospective employer, which is submitted with your job application. Consider it the sidekick to your resume: it briefly explains why you’re applying for the position and gives you a chance to sell your skills.

“It sends out a call for action for them to call you for an interview,” says Christine VandeGraaf, General Manager of Employment, Training and Settlement Services at the YMCA of Hamilton. 

These days, debates rage about whether the cover letter is dead, and the jury is still out on the verdict. While it’s true that some employers are phasing it out, a cover letter can nonetheless give you a leg up in the job application process. 

“The potential employer is seeing dozens of other resumes along with yours,” says Cheyene Shuart and Abby Russell from the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario. “So your cover letter is your chance to start a conversation with the employer and show them who you really are and why you would be a good fit for the position.”

Do you need a cover letter as a teenager?

The unanimous answer from the experts is… yes! Teenagers should always include a cover letter with their resume, even if a job posting doesn’t explicitly state that one is required. Consider it a best practice that can help you stand out above the rest, and if yo u have limited work experience, the experts say it can especially give you a competitive edge. 

“It can be intimidating to find work when you haven’t had much (or any) work experience, especially when most positions are looking for previous experience,” says Shuart. “Sometimes resumes aren’t enough to prove to the employer that you would be a good fit for the position,” adds Russell. 

“Cover letters are meant to highlight a little bit of your experience and skills, but they are mostly used to explain how that experience and skills relate to this exact position, which is what matters the most to potential employers.” 

Read more: 14 best part-time jobs for teens

teen boy looks thoughtfully at laptop writing cover letter for job

What should a high school cover letter include?

Whatever you do, don’t draft a saga of all the things you’ve ever done in your life and why it makes you great. When it comes to writing a cover letter, brevity is your BFF: Recruiters generally spend six seconds reviewing the average candidate. Make every word count! Here’s what should make the cut in your cover letter, including how to address a cover letter.

Your contact information

Your contact information should appear first. Typically, this section sits in the left-hand corner at the top of the page and includes your name, address, email address, website, LinkedIn URL, and phone number in a listicle format.

By the way, now is the time to create a professional email address. Keep it simple: use your name ( or create a generic address ( 

The date

Hit the enter button twice and write the date in full [DAY/MONTH/YEAR].

The employer’s contact information

Next, include all the employer’s contact information two lines after the date. List the hiring manager/employer’s name, company name, company address, and any other contact information pulled from the job posting.


Start with a polite greeting, such as “Dear [Ms./Mr./Dr./Professor/etc.] [LAST NAME].” If you aren’t sure of the hiring manager’s gender or wish to avoid gendered greetings altogether, you can enter their full name (“Dear FIRST NAME/LAST NAME”).

Avoid using “To whom it may concern” if you can, as some experts say this greeting is starting to feel a little tired.

First paragraph: Introduce yourself 

Right off the bat, the first paragraph should cover the basics: who you are, what position you’re applying for, how you heard about the position, why it interests you, and what makes you an ideal candidate.

 “This should be no more than three or four sentences and should just be a quick snapshot to capture the reader’s attention,” says Shuart and Russell.

Second paragraph: Your qualifications 

The next paragraph should describe your credentials as it relates to the job description. Specifically, describe how your relevant education, work/volunteer, and skills or training experience make you a good fit for the job. But keep it short: Focus on how your accomplishments match the job requirements and leave the nitty-gritty details for your resume. This section should be no more than five to seven sentences. 

“When writing sentences about your skills and how they apply to the job, always explain when you used the skill, how you used it, and what the end result was,” says Shuart and Russell. “This shows the employer that you did your homework on what they are looking for and helps to illustrate why you would be a good fit.”

For example, if the job posting is asking for “excellent communication skills,” you could talk about your experience as a student council representative: “As student council secretary, I am responsible for producing an online newsletter that is distributed monthly to over 700 students—an experience that has given me the opportunity to build and apply my excellent communication skills.” 

Depending on the job, you may also want to highlight other strengths or “selling features” that could help get you onto the interview list.

“For a young person, it may include phrases such as availability (evenings/days/weekends) driver’s license and access to a car, WHMIS certifications, or how the experience will fit into their future career goals,” says VandeGraaf. 

The bottom line: Explain how your qualifications directly relate to the position and use concrete examples.

Closing paragraph: Wrap up and thank you 

In your final paragraph (around three to five sentences), wrap up with a brief conclusion about why the skills you highlighted make you a good fit for the job. Shuart and Russell also say to “be bold” and include a call to action—such as requesting a job interview—as well as restate how you can be contacted (“I can be reached by mobile phone or email”). Last but not least, don’t forget to thank the employer for their time and consideration. 

“They have lots of resumes to get through, so a little appreciation can help them remember you better!” they add.

Sign off

End on a professional note: “Finish strong with a polite, formal closing, such as “Sincerely, [YOUR FULL NAME]”.

Learn more: Job interview questions for teens and sample answers.

Tips for writing a cover letter for a student with no work experience 

No work experience under your belt? You’ve got this! Here are a few tips for how to write a cover letter with no experience. 

Read the job posting

“The job posting tells you what skills and experience the employer is looking for, so you should show the employer how you measure up to their needs,” says Shuart and Russell. It also gives away keywords to use in your cover letter and resume. 

Prove your skills

Make a list of the key skills required for the position (e.g., excellent communication, time management, problem-solving abilities). Then, think of examples of when you accomplished something using those desired skills. “Whether it was work, volunteer, or academic experience, the most important part is proving you have the skill,” says Shuart and Russell. “You also can relate it to the position: ‘My communication skills would help me build a strong rapport with customers.’” If you’re struggling to make the connection, ask a friend or family member to help you brainstorm. 

Group of three teens wearing green t-shirts that says "volunteer"

Think outside the box

If you’ve never had a job, draw on your lived experience to illustrate putting your skills into practice. Were you a volunteer tennis coach for kids last summer? Did you organize a climate justice rally that 500 people attended? Did you teach your grandma how to use Microsoft Office on a weekend? “Any experience is good experience!” says Shuart and Russell. “You don’t have to have previous work experience to have good communication. Can you use a volunteering or academic example?”

Use keywords

If the job is asking for “excellent customer service skills,” include that phrase somewhere in your cover letter. “Some employers use software that searches for the keywords they are looking for, so your cover letter could be screened out if you don’t have the keywords noted in the job posting,” says Shuart and Russell. “The other benefit of using these keywords is showing the employer you read carefully through their job posting. It’s a great, subtle way to show you pay attention to details as well!”

Use “action” words to paint a picture

Use descriptive language to showcase your skills and experience, as well as your accomplishments. Instead of simply saying you did something, use “action” verbs such as led, researched, created, managed, delivered, resolved, founded, developed, tracked, collaborated, grew, or promoted. Put your thesaurus to work! 

Keep it simple

A cover letter should be easy-to-read and not cluttered with text. Keep it simple and don’t bedazzle it with fancy colours and graphics. “Most employers prefer to see simple, easy-to-follow applications,” say Shuart and Russell. “Keep most of your text left-aligned and keep it professional-looking.”


Run a spelling and grammar check. Read your cover letter out loud to catch any long-winded sentences or awkward transitions. Get a parent or friend to proofread for typos. Double-check that the hiring manager’s name is spelled correctly. Your cover letter should be as clean as a whistle before you hit send.

Learn more: Best summer jobs for teens in Canada.

Sample cover letter or high school student

Need inspo to write a killer cover letter? Here’s a sample cover letter for high school students.

Teen girl holding pile of books and working at library

Jennifer McGee

1000 Fairyland Blvd

Toronto, Ontario

M53 1Z5

(416) 111-4444

January 1, 2023

Theresa Wright

Head Librarian

Toronto Public Library – Palmerston Branch

560 Palmerston Ave

Toronto, ON M6G 2P7 

Dear Ms. Wright,

Please accept my application for the position of Library Page at the Toronto Public Library, Palmerston Branch. As an avid reader and regular library patron, I was very excited to learn about the available position, which is currently posted on your organization’s website. My professionalism, work ethic, and understanding and appreciation for public service make me an ideal candidate for this position. 

As student council secretary, I am responsible for producing an online newsletter that is distributed bi-weekly to over 700 students—an experience that has given me the opportunity to apply my excellent communication skills in action. Most recently, I completed a twelve-week co-op experience at FoodShare Toronto, where I worked in the community garden and supported food literacy workshops in schools. The experience gave me an opportunity to interact with the public in a professional manner, as well as complete tasks independently and part of a team. My values for hard work and continuous learning allowed me to complete the co-op with a grade of 95%. My time management skills were also demonstrated when I had to juggle three essays and two exams during last semester. I used my superior organizational skills to ensure that I prioritize my school work based on difficulty level and deadline, while balancing my hobbies of tennis and piano. As a result of my efforts, I achieved Honour Roll status and a good work-life balance. 

The Toronto Public Library values teamwork and public service, both of which align with my skills, experience, and values. I also get enormous satisfaction in serving the public and have a passion for promoting literacy. Based on my qualifications, I believe I would be a strong member of the team at the Palmerston Branch. I would love to discuss my candidacy further in an interview with you. I can be reached by phone or email. Thank you so much for your time and for considering my application. 


Jennifer McGee

Last word about how to write a cover letter like a pro 

The task of writing a cover letter can feel daunting when you’re facing a blank screen. But there’s only one way to overcome that hurdle: start writing! Using these expert tips, kick off your letter by formally introducing yourself and then outlining how your skills and experience make you suited to the job. Use concrete examples that are action- and results-oriented, showing (not just telling!) how you’re a great candidate. 

If you’ve never had a job, remember that your lived experience is equally valuable, and no employer expects you to have a plethora of job experience at this stage in your life. Avoid padding your cover letter with overblown achievements, and focus on sharing what you have to offer. 

Download the Mydoh app to help your tweens and teens gain real-life experience managing their money.  

How to Budget for Back to School Shopping in 2023

By the time we finally get around to cleaning out the backpacks and airing out the lunch containers, the advertising jingles and reminders to get a head start on back to school shopping are already in full force. While it may feel too soon (and too exhausting) to think about back to school supplies in the summer months, getting a head start on creating a budget, making a list of supplies, and looking for the best back to school deals is a great way to save money and avoid buying things your kids don’t need. 

Here are tips on how to stick to a budget and buy the essential back to school supplies for your kids and teens this year.

Smiling boy on first day back to school in classroom

When do kids go back to school for 2023–24?

Below is a list of each province or territory in Canada and the first day of class for elementary and high school students for 2023-2024.

Province or territoryWhen school returns in 2023–2024
British ColumbiaTuesday, September 5, 2023
AlbertaTuesday, September 5, 2023 in Calgary
Tuesday, September 5, 2023 in Edmonton
SaskatchewanTuesday, September 5, 2023
ManitobaTuesday, September 5, 2023
OntarioTuesday, September 5, 2023 for TDSB, YDSB, CDSB, OCDSB, DSBN, PDSB, GEDSB, and DDSB.
Wednesday, September 6, 2023 for HDSB, WRDSB, and WRDSB.
QuebecWednesday, August 30, 2023
New BrunswickTuesday, September 5, 2023
Nova ScotiaWednesday, September 6 2023 for Cape Breton Regional Centre for Education and Chignecto Central Regional Centre for Education.
Thursday, September 7, 2023 for Halifax Regional Centre for Education.
Prince Edward IslandThursday, September 7, 2023
Newfoundland and LabradorWednesday, September 6, 2023
Northwest TerritoriesMonday, August 28, 2023
NunavutVaries from August 14 to September 5, 2023.
YukonMost schools go back Tuesday, August 22, 2023.

How much do Canadians spend on back to school supplies?

Canadian families estimated they spend up to $900 a year on school supplies in 2020. And most of those costs are up front prior to the start of the new school year. However, we all know kids grow out of shoes and clothes and that projects have a way of coming along and surprising us with last minute trips to the store for craft supplies. For older kids, the cost of buying supplies like glue sticks and markers decreases, but there is a huge jump in the need for technological tools like scientific calculators and laptops (and let’s not forget the cost of clothing goes up, too!). 

What do you need for back to school supplies?

The most important step, when it comes to preparing a list of the best school supplies, is to create a budget that is based on what your student needs. This will help prevent any impulse purchases when you are confronted by all the dazzling back to school displays. Many schools should have grade-appropriate lists on their websites and some teachers also provide specific lists. But, if you don’t have access to the information during the summer months, you can start by asking parents with older kids and buying general supplies. 

elementary school supplies in colourful backpack

Elementary school

  • Backpack
  • Lunch box or bag
  • Water bottle
  • Pencil case
  • Pencils
  • Pencil crayons
  • Sharpener
  • Blunt tip scissors
  • Eraser
  • Ruler
  • Glue stick
  • Gym shoes
blue backpack with school supplies for middle school on desk

Middle school

  • Backpack
  • Lunch box or bag
  • Water bottle
  • Pencil case
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Highlighters
  • White-out
  • Eraser
  • Glue
  • Binder
  • Loose-leaf lined paper
  • Graph paper
  • Subject dividers
  • Notebooks 
  • Report cover
  • Calculator
  • Geometry set
  • Combination lock 
  • Gym shoes
backpack, stationary, laptop, shoes for back to high school

High school

  • Backpack
  • Laptop
  • Headphones
  • Water bottle
  • Pencil case
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Sharpies
  • White-out
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Post-its
  • Index cards 
  • Binders
  • Clear binder pouches
  • Loose-leaf lined paper
  • Subject dividers
  • Notebooks 
  • Report cover
  • Weekly planner
  • Scientific calculator
  • Geometry set
  • Combination lock 
  • Locker hooks 

While these items cover the essentials that allow your kids to get their schoolwork done, there is also a lengthy list of must-have clothing items. For back to school in the fall, that can mean raincoats, splash pants, or an umbrella, as well as indoor and outdoor shoes and rain boots. And let’s not forget that on-trend back to school outfit! 

When should you go back to school shopping?

According to the experts (teachers!), the best time to go back to school shopping is in July or August. Which makes sense! Summer is a time when stores are stuffed full of back to school displays (for many retailers, back to school is second only to the holidays) and your teen is more likely to snag that coveted backpack. 

Not all parents relish the prospect of back to school shopping (after all, who wants to admit the summer is almost over!), but another reason to shop during summer vacation is that supplies do run out. Any parent who has tried to tick every time off their kid’s back to school list the day before Labour Day will know what we’re talking about. 

Learn more about the best daily back-to-school routines for kids and teens.

7 tips to save on back to school shopping

Back to school shopping can take a real bite out of a family’s budget. Here are seven tips to help keep costs in line while still checking all the items off your kids’ school supply list. 

1. Decide on the essentials

A conversation about what is needed and what is wanted is best had before you actually head out to the stores. This way an agreement can be reached about what comes out of the family budget and what are extras (those must-have designer sneakers for example). Having a list of nice-to-haves creates a great opportunity for earning those items through chores. Extra items could also be great gift requests for family members on special occasions

2. Agree on a budget

This is another discussion worth having ahead of the actual shopping process. Divide the budget into school supplies, clothing, and tech. Then allocate a dollar amount to each category. There may be some items that are beyond the family budget or that do not need to be bought right away (perhaps these can be saved for later in the school year or as a request for a birthday/holiday gift). While the excitement makes it easy to get caught up in buying everything at once, it’s okay to take some time and spread the spending over the school year. 

Tip: Kids and teens can use our free savings goal calculator to help budget for the back-to-school items.

3. Do an inventory of what you already have

Once the budget is set, another great tip for trimming costs is to go through the end-of-year supplies that are leftover and set aside anything that still holds up. For example, there is no need to buy a new geometry set each year and with a little elbow grease and a recycling bin, binders can be emptied and used again. Sort out backpacks and outerwear that can be handed down to younger siblings, too. And, finally, do a deep dive in the cupboards (and in the dark corners of your teen’s bedroom). Chances are good that you don’t need to buy yet another water bottle.

Smiling teen girl with backpack going back to school

4. Look for student discounts

While the cost of back to school shopping for teens tends to be pricier, there are several options for leveraging student discounts in Canada. For a reasonable annual fee, the SPC card offers discounts in several popular stores, as long as you provide a student ID. Several tech companies offer deals on their equipment. There are also student discounts available for online programs including Adobe, Spotify, and other streaming platforms. Grocery stores, restaurants and public transit offer deals for students with valid IDs, too. 

5. Shop for clothing in thrift stores

Thrift stores not only provide a great savings opportunity, but thifting is back in vogue. Win, win. While there are great clothing options for all ages and stages, teens should really enjoy the hunt for the perfect piece. This approach to shopping saves money and helps teach kids about environmental issues and the prevalence of fast fashion. Before you go, set your kids the task of filling a bag of clothes they are no longer wearing to bring with them to the thrift store. Some stores offer coupons in exchange for drop offs, which means extra savings!

6. Compare prices

We get it, making multiple stops at different stores can be exhausting. But planning ahead can once again add to potential savings. Are there supplies that can be bought in bulk like printer paper? Or perhaps a trip to your dollar store for some of the basics is worth it. Keep an eye on flyers for the bigger ticket items, too. Large chain grocery and drug stores often have back to school displays at the end of summer and if you have a rewards card for that store, there is the added bonus of collecting points to be used for things like groceries and household items. Apps like Flipp or Price Dropper can help you source the deals before you head out the door. 

7. Have teens pay for items they want (but don’t need)

If your teen has a part-time job or your younger kids are eager to pitch in with chores, it is more than okay to give kids the responsibility of buying those wish list items with their own savings. Not only does it help the family stay on budget, it can also help kids to take greater care and responsibility for those items. 

Back to school shopping can be a great opportunity to practice budgeting and planning ahead, while reminding kids about the value of recycling and reusing before buying new. It also offers a chance for teens to think carefully about needs versus wants, which may motivate them to focus on saving funds through chores and work in order to buy some of those must-have items.

Mydoh can help teens stay within their budget as they can only spend the money they have in their wallet.

Download Mydoh to help your tweens and teens gain real-life experience managing their money. 

14 Best Part-Time Jobs for Teens

You’ve done the math and realized that it’s going to take you three years of weekly allowance to save up for your first car—and that’s if you buy a clunker. It’s time to get a job.

The good news is it’s a job-seekers market, which means that teens looking for their first part-time job are likely to find it easier than ever to land one—especially if you’re looking in the areas of food service, retail, or recreation. 

Earning your own money isn’t the only benefit of a job: you’ll learn skills like time management and responsibility, plus valuable work experience. But finding a balance between work, school, extracurricular activities and chores can be tricky. Here are some considerations for choosing—and crushing—that first part-time job.

Why is it important for teenagers to have a part-time job?  

There are the obvious benefits to getting a job: earning your own money means you learn firsthand the value of things you want to buy. Equating a new pair of jeans with eight hours flipping burgers might make you think twice about whether that purchase is worth it.

Plus, earning your own coin fosters a greater sense of independence. You get to decide how and where to spend (or save) your wages. Money management skills, like budgeting, taxes, and the difference between wants versus needs, are best learned on the job.

Another bonus to having a part-time job as a teen is developing new skills. Maybe you’ve heard your parents talk about hard skills versus soft skills: hard skills are the practical skills you need to do a job, like knowing how to work a credit card reader. Soft skills are the harder-to-define personal qualities, such as creativity and good communication skills. 

All jobs need a mix of hard and soft skills. While hard skills are usually obtained through training, soft skills are nurtured by on-the-job experience.

Whatever job you choose, know you’ll gain valuable experience and transferable skills that you can apply to your next job, both of which boost confidence and self-esteem. What’s more, do well with your job and you’ll build that all-important list of references for future opportunities.

Is it a good idea for high school students to have a part-time job? 

The benefits of a part-time job are pretty clear, but there are tradeoffs. Some studies show that when teens work more than 15 hours per work, marks and test scores could suffer. So if you want a part-time job, consider starting slowly and don’t commit to a high number of work hours or shifts immediately if it’s during the school year. 

How teens can balance part-time work with school 

Balancing part-time work with school, sports, volunteer work, homework, family responsibilities and friends might be exhausting. Staying organized is critical, but where to begin?

Gone are the days of paper calendars and to-do lists to keep you on track (unless you prefer old school—you do you!). Today there are apps for both iPhone and Android, such as Evernote, Taskade and Todoist, to help you tame distractions and keep on top of your work, homework, and even sleep. 

One of the hardest things to manage is time, and a calendar, such as Google Calendar or Calendar for iOS, can help you track due dates for projects, work shifts and other commitments. Visually you can see how much time there is in a day: when you chart all your activities on a calendar, it’s easy to see when it becomes too much. Bonus: share the calendar with your parent(s) to keep you all on the same digital page.

And don’t forget to consider telling your teachers and guidance counsellor that you’re taking on a part-time job. School staff are often supportive of working teens and may even offer strategies to prioritize school work.

Besides the logistics of balancing work and school, it’s important to take care of yourself. That means getting enough sleep and following a regular sleep schedule. Cut back on caffeine and turn off the devices well before bedtime. While it can be easy to nosh on junk food, especially if you get discounts at work, healthy snacks can fuel your body (and brain) better than fries. 

How to find the best job as a teen 

So you’ve decided you want to get a part-time job. Great! Now what? 

Have you heard the often-memed quote by Apple founder Steve Jobs: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” Sure, this might be a lofty goal when you’re just starting on a job path. But it  also invites you to consider your interests, strengths or hobbies and choose a part-time job that aligns with future career goals. 

While it’s tempting to get a job where your friends work (and can help you get your foot in the door, especially if you have no experience), this might not be the most rewarding strategy in the long term. If you love being outdoors, your BFF’s mall job might feel suffocating. For teens who prefer a quiet environment, working in a fast-food kitchen with your pals might overstimulate. Start thinking about what kind of environment you prefer—for example, inside versus outside, or store versus a kitchen.

Once you’ve narrowed down your job search, you’ll need to consider logistics: how you’ll get there (drive, carpool, walk, public transit or parents), how early or late are the shifts, do you want regular or irregular hours, and do you need any certifications, such as CPR or First Aid. You’ll also need to understand the labour laws in your province that dictate at what age you can start working, the minimum wage and how many hours you’re legally entitled to work. 

Many jobs come from referrals, so tell everyone you know—teachers, neighbours, parents of friends, coaches—that you are looking for work. Search online job boards for jobs open to teens and high school students. Once you’ve polished your resume don’t be afraid to visit places you want to work and ask if they’re hiring; this demonstrates initiative and confidence. Community boards, such as those in grocery stores, or digital boards on social media, are a great place to find informal “help wanted” jobs.

Read more: Job interview questions for teens and sample answers.

The best part-time jobs for teens in Canada 

While it can seem daunting to get a job (you need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience!) there are industries open and willing to hire teens, such as retail, food service, child and animal care, and coaching, to name a few. 

Here’s a list of the more popular part-time jobs for teens:

A young tween girl working part-time as a babysitter

1. Babysitter

Babysitting is often a first job and for good reason: there’s no legal minimum age (most kids start around age 12) and you’ll gain valuable skills that’ll help in other jobs, such as responsibility and punctuality. You’ll also learn activity planning (no one wants bored kids!), meal prep, and even tutoring. You can decide the number of families on your roster and how often you want to work, which can be handy during exams, for example, when you need more time to study. Consider taking a babysitting course, such as the one offered by the Canadian Red Cross for kids aged 11 to 15, and/or CPR to give you an edge. Younger teens and tweens can start as a mother’s helper. The average babysitting rate is $15 per hour, but that varies depending on the number of kids, and the tasks you’re expected to do, such as meal prep or chores.

A teenager working part-time as a barista in a coffee shop

2. Barista 

If you’re fluent in the language of coffee and love the sound of milk being frothed, a job as a barista may be for you. You’ll need to be a fast learner and a good listener for those personalized orders (soy milk, half sweet, no froth, what?!) and remain friendly under pressure in a fast-paced environment. While most cafes and coffee shops welcome students with little to no experience, a food safety certificate or online barista training can help boost your resume to the top of the pile. Most coffee chains require teens to be 16 and pay starts at $16 per hour.

Young children playing tug-of-war at a camp being watched by a part-time teen counsellor

3. Camp counsellor

As a kid did you love spending your summers at overnight camp making s’mores by the fire? Or maybe shooting hoops at a basketball day camp? The memory-making doesn’t need to end when you’ve outgrown being a camper. Summer jobs for teens can be a great way to earn money and gain valuable experience, all while making memories that will last a lifetime. As a camp counsellor you get to create fun all day, while polishing your time management, communication, teamwork, and leadership skills. (Bonus points for fresh air and sunshine.) Most camps require counsellors to be 16 or 17 years-old-old, but CIT (Counsellor In Training) programs may hire at 15. You’ll need Standard First Aid/CPR, and relevant experience or competencies if you’re interested in certain programs, such as horseback riding, sailing, or music. Pay rates vary for day camps depending on age and experience; overnight camps may pay significantly less than minimum wage, but offer room and board.

An older teen making money part-time as a dog sitter

4. Dog walker

Did you grow up with a dog? Turn your family chore walking Fido into a part-time gig that promises endless snuggles, miles of exercise… and poop bags. You don’t need any formal training to start a dog-walking business, but qualifications in animal first aid, such as the one-day course offered by St. John’s Ambulance, helps build street cred with potential clients. It’s also smart to read up on dog breeds and their behaviours so you know what types of dogs you can handle. Dog walkers can charge between $10 and $35 per walk, depending on location, length of walk, and if it’s a group or solo dog. Consider starting small and with dogs you know— maybe there’s a senior or busy professional in your neighbourhood who could use some help—and build your business by word-of-mouth.

A teenage girl with a side gig serving pizza

5. Fast food crew member

Working in food service ticks a lot of boxes for a part-time job: flexible shifts, store discounts, and you’ll get to work with other teens your age. While you’ll start at minimum wage, most fast-food chains offer opportunities for teens to advance to better-paying positions as crew trainers and managers. You’ll become a pro at multitasking and customer service, and the fast pace will make your shifts fly by. Bonus: food chains have locations coast-to-coast, so it’ll be easier to find a part-time job when you start university or college. 

A young teen girl earning money as a freelancer online

6. Freelancer

The pandemic changed the landscape of how and where we work, and opened incredible opportunities for savvy ways for teens to make money online with an entrepreneurial spirit. If your hobbies include graphic design, or you’re a whiz at creating content for social media, maybe “freelancer” is a better fit than a “traditional” part-time job: you get to be your own boss, decide your hours and set your rates. Another perk: freelancing has no age limit. Not only is working online flexible, but you may also be uniquely skilled for certain gigs since you’re likely comfortable with technology. But there’s a catch: you’re responsible for finding your own jobs and clients, as well as invoicing, marketing, and training.

A 16-year old working part-time as a lifeguard

7. Lifeguard

For teens who love the water, whether it’s the beach, pool or waterpark, working as a  lifeguard can be a great part-time job—and not just for the tan. You’re responsible for the safety of everyone in the water, as well as customer service and maintenance. You’ll need National Lifeguard certification, which is available in four options: pool, waterpark, waterfront, and surf. You also must be a minimum of 15 years old and have Bronze Cross and Standard First Aid certifications. Pay ranges between $15 and $25 per hour.

A 15-year old working a part-time retail job at a clothing store

8. Retail sales assistant

Get paid to go to the mall? Yes, please! For teens who love shopping and working with people, a retail job helps you gain practical work experience along with problem-solving, patience and communication with customers. You’ll also learn to juggle multiple roles, handle cash, and what goes into creating great product displays. Retail often offers flexible hours to fit around your school schedule, but that also includes weekends. And no matter your interest—fashion, technology, sports, pets, or books—there is a retail store to suit you. Bonus: most companies offer employee discounts on their products. Expect to start at minimum wage.

A 17-year girl working as a server in a restaurant to make money while in school

9. Server

Like fast food or retail, having experience as a server means you’ll always be able to find a job. Younger teens may start with bussing tables, but as you gain experience you can advance to a server position or even host/hostess. The tipped minimum wage is lower than the general minimum wage. Still, servers who are attentive, friendly, quick on their feet, and genuinely enjoy working with customers typically earn 15 percent to 20 percent on each bill. While you’ll work hard as a server, the tradeoff is flexible shifts, food discounts and being part of a team.

An older teenager working as a part-time ski instructor

10. Ski instructor

For teens who prefer mountains to malls, a part-time job as a ski instructor is a great way to share your passion for the sport and get paid for doing what you love — with free lift passes for the season. You’ll need your CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance) Level 1 certification (for coaches age 14 and up) or your CASI (Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors) Level 1 (for coaches age 15 and up), as well as a positive attitude and good motivational skills. Coaches usually start at minimum wage, but some ski schools allow tips. 

An 18-year old teen working part-time hours as a sports coach outside

11. Sports coach

Playing sports is about more than just exercise: kids learn confidence, teamwork, and being a good sport. For teens who get a job as a sports coach, you’ll enjoy these gains and get paid to play! Besides gaining valuable teaching and planning skills, you’ll also experience the satisfaction of being a role model for kids. A good coach is positive, supportive, patient and fun, and it’s a great job for teens interested in becoming teachers or working in recreation. The Coaching Association of Canada offers NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program) training in dozens of sports, from archery to soccer to wrestling.

A tween boy working as a swim instructor with younger children

12. Swimming instructor

Swimming lessons are a rite of passage for most kids and becoming a swim instructor is a fun and rewarding job for teens who can’t get enough of the pool. It’s a good job on your resume as it demonstrates high levels of responsibility, teaching, and supervision. You’ll need strong organizational, planning and communication skills, and Level 1 (NCCP) Coaching Certification designed for beginner coaches (ages 15 and up) who are teaching swimming basics. National Lifeguard and Standard First Aid certifications are also an asset. Wages start at $15 per hour.

A 16-year old girl working with a young girl as a tutor to earn extra money during the school year

13. Tutor

If you love to teach, are a strong student (especially in math, English or French) and have good communication skills, becoming a tutor, either online or in-person, could be a good fit. It’s a great job for teens thinking about becoming a teacher, because you’ll get experience working with kids and polish your problem-solving skills and patience. Some positions require teens to be 18+ and/or have a degree, but there are still lots of opportunities to help out elementary-aged kids. Check out online “help wanted” ads on social media or ask your school guidance counsellor for parents wanting help for their kids. Rates start at $15 per hour.

A teenager working as an usher at a movie theatre during high school

14. Usher

For teens thinking about a career in theatre operations, sports facility management, or events planning, a part-time job as an usher could be that first step on the career ladder. Typically working in theatres, sporting stadiums and at other large-scale event venues such as concert halls, ushers are responsible for checking tickets, showing patrons to their seats, food service and basic maintenance. As an usher, you’ll get to work on your customer service and conflict resolution skills. You’ll need a friendly disposition, cool demeanour and be quick on your feet, but in return, you can score free (or discounted) passes and merch. Pay starts at minimum wage.

Read more: 20 ways to make money as a teen.

Pros and cons of part-time jobs for teens 

Getting a part-time job is a personal choice based on your maturity, other commitments and goals. If you’re the captain of a school sports team and hoping for a scholarship, a part-time job may demand too much time and energy. If you’re thinking of applying to a competitive university program, say vet school or pre-med, focusing on your grades and extracurricular activities may be the right choice. 

But a job can also help you figure out what you want to do after high school. If you’re thinking of a career in fashion, working retail at your favourite store can teach you more than just folding clothes; you’ll learn hard skills like styling mannequins, but also gain insight into trends, shopping habits and personal styles. 

Read more: How to write a cover letter for students.

Here’s a list of pros and cons to help you decide:

Pros to having a part-time job

  • A part-time job teaches the value of money and good budgeting skills.
  • You’ll become a pro at effective time management as you juggle school, work, and a social life. 
  • You’ll learn both “hard” skills and “soft” skills that you’ll need for future employment.
  • A part-time job looks good on a college/university application.
  • A job can teach the value of post-secondary education as washing dishes or flipping burgers for minimum wage gets old pretty quick.

Cons to having a part-time job

  • You’ll risk fatigue and burnout if you try to do too much.
  • You may miss spending time with friends and family, especially if your job requires work on weekends.
  • You might have to take on menial jobs that don’t give you the experience you want. 
  • Your grades may suffer if you work too many hours.
  • A job may take the place of extracurricular activities, such as sports or clubs, that are an important part of the high school experience.

Your first part-time job can give you a real taste of independence and help you save for the things you really want (like your own car or a new gaming system). Or if you’re Beyoncé, her first job working at her mom’s salon helped pay for a season’s pass to an amusement park. Even Bey understood the value of a part-time job. 

Download the Mydoh app to gain real-life experience managing your money.