August 18, 2011

Can’t find a summer job?

Create one!

Justin: It hasn’t been easy for young people to get jobs these past couple of years, but that hasn’t stopped a lot of them from finding work. So how are they doing it? They are hiring themselves.

Steven Gordon: We’re actually giving away free tattoos over there.

Justin: Eighteen-year-old Steven Gordon from New York is working the boardwalk, strategically promoting his business in places where little kids love to go.

Steven: I have plans to expand to every theme park in the United States. You know, Disney, Universal, Sesame Place, even Chuck E. Cheese.

Justin: No, he is not trying the be the next Mickey Mouse. Steven is in the business of keeping kids safe. See, his company, called TattooID, makes temporary tattoos for small children that show their parent’s phone number in case the kids get lost — something Steven knows about firsthand.

Steven: I was babysitting my brother one day — he was four — and, you know, one minute I’m with him, the next minute he wanders off from me. And so, I was thinking of a way, how can I make safety fun for kids?

Justin: With teen jobs hard to come by, Steven has created his own business. Now, he gets $7.99 for every tattoo he sells. So far, he has made hundreds of dollars and hopes to earn enough to build his own stand.

Steven: You work harder because it’s for yourself.

Justin: Steven is not the only savvy self-employed teen. He is on the board of his friend Gary Jiang’s t-shirt company Muffin Milk. You might remember Gary from Channel One’s Teen Entrepreneur series. We met with him when his company, which he started as a sophomore, was getting off the ground.

Gary Jiang: When I first gave away fifty shirts, it was almost like an exclusive type of thing. By senior year, everybody knew who I was and what I did.

Justin: T-shirt by t-shirt, Gary’s company has made more than $16,000. That is no chump change!

Gary and Steven’s love for entrepreneurship, or starting one’s own business, is actually what brought them together. They met at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, or NFTE,  a non-profit group that teaches 20,000 students a year how to start their own companies.

NFTE’s enrollement is up 18% this year! So it seems that when the job market is down, more teens want to learn how to go it alone. A bad economy is definitely a motivator for these students. They see that they can take things into their own hands, that they don’t have to depend on someone else to give them a job. With Steven and Gary’s businesses gaining ground, these teens may never have to worry about finding a part time job again.

And we have got all you need to know about finding and landing a job. Or better yet creating your own over at


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