Stanek Offers 4-part Series on Student Jobs

Part 1–Where am I eligible to work based on my age?

Stanek Offers 4-part Series on Student Jobs

I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow students are under the impression that I can hand out jobs at will.  While I do occasionally get information about specific job openings, in general I do not have a bunch of jobs just waiting to be filled.  While it would be fun to “hook a kid” up with a job as I am often asked to do, it’s more practical to inform you about “how to get a job” and the job process.

So here is a series of four articles to help students become more comfortable in the job market.  If you read them all and still have questions, stop by room 101.  But if you start our conversation with, “I heard you can hook me up with a job,” I’m going to raise my “fee” from 10% of your first paycheck to 15%.  (That is a JOKE.  I do not actually do this—it would be illegal!–but I love the look on student’s face when I tell them that!)

Today:  Where am I eligible to work based on my age?

Friday:  How do I actually apply for a job?

Tuesday:  Application Tips.

Wednesday:  Interview Tips.


If you are 15 or younger, it’s relatively difficult to “get a job.”  The reasons for this are pretty simple:  There are laws that limit the hours people in this age bracket can work, and there are a lot of laws around “safety” in the workplace.

Places to look for work:   Small restaurants that are family owned are often looking for dishwashers and bussers.  Farm work is sometimes an option, but only if you would not be working around machinery or other equipment.

Places that absolutely cannot hire you:  Franchised restaurants such as Subway, Taco Bell will not hire anyone under 16.


If you are at least 16, the chances of getting a job increase dramatically, but there are still some limitations.

Places to look for work:  Movie theaters, franchised restaurants such as Mc Donald’s and Burger King, seasonal work (summer work in the fields/on farms).  Even grocery stores have some positions for which you qualify.

Places that absolutely cannot hire you:  Big box stores such as Home Depot, Lowes or Bi-Mart.   The rule of thumb is this:  If the store uses fork lifts to stock shelves, you are going to have to be at least 18 to work there.

18+-years olds

There are very few limits on where you can work.

Places to look for work:   UPS, Home Depot, Lowes, Bi-Mart, restaurants, farms, construction sites/companies, office work and so on.