lemonade stand

Five simple ways to get working as a young newcomer

By Russul Sahib

Posted on January 21, 2021

It is never too early to learn about money and financial responsibility. As a parent, you want your child to know the value of money and be responsible. However, as a kid, making some extra cash can be difficult, especially in a new community. In Canada, most jobs usually require you to be at least 14 years old. Yet, there are a couple of ways for you to get involved in your communities, gain some responsibility, and earn some extra money! Here are five ways newcomer kids and teens can earn some cash while helping others in their communities.

Snow shovelling, lawn mowing, and leaf raking

shoveling snow
With Canada’s unpredictable weather, it can be hard for kids and teens to find a job that they can keep throughout the whole year. Luckily, there are seasonal jobs that you can get involved with all year round! Given that Canadian winters are so long, snow shovelling is a great way to make some extra money while helping others in the community that may be unable to do so themselves. According to LocalStudent, a website that matches kids with seasonal jobs in the Greater Toronto Area, people can get paid between $25–35 each time they shovel a driveway. The company offers even higher pay if a snowstorm hits! When winter ends, you can switch to lawn mowing in the summer and leaf raking in the fall. All these job opportunities are great ways to become more involved in your communities all year round. It is also a good idea to ask a neighbour if they need help with any of these tasks. Often, neighbours are willing to give you a chance to earn some extra cash, as they know you on a more personal level.

Newspaper delivery

reading the newspaper
Another great way for kids and teens to start building their work experience is to deliver newspapers. A person in this role delivers the local newspaper to the specific community assigned to them. This job is a great way for younger kids to get involved, as work can start as early as age 10. According to an article by The Hamilton Spectator, kids are paid 10 cents for every house they deliver a newspaper to within their assigned area. While this may not seem like a lot of money, it does add up if you deliver enough papers. This job also allows you to become more familiar with surrounding neighbourhoods and possibly even meet some of your neighbours if you deliver newspapers in their area.

Dog walking and pet sitting

girl with dog
For any animal lover, dog walking and pet sitting are great ways to earn money while spending time with some furry creatures. Dog walking is when you walk someone else’s dog because they are unable to, while pet sitting involves looking after someone’s cat or dog while they are away or busy. Youth can seek out these jobs on their own or through their parents. For example, Petsitter.com is a website that connects employers with students looking to find dog walking, pet sitting, pet grooming, and pet training opportunities. On this website, youth can post their experience working with animals (if they have any), as well as how much they would like to get paid. Typically, students on the site charge between $14–20 for their dog walking and pet sitting services, but you can choose to charge more or less. The website also allows you to look specifically for employers in need of someone who can walk or watch their pet. It might also be a good idea to have a parent or guardian help you find opportunities to avoid scams or unsafe situations.

Parents can also ask their friends or neighbours if anyone would be interested in letting their child walk their dog or pet sit for them. This is another great way for youth to find work, as friends and neighbours are more likely to trust their pet with someone they already know. Whatever way you choose to find this type of work, dog walking and pet sitting can be fun ways for newcomers to join the workforce, while spending time with animals!


If looking after dogs and cats isn’t your ideal job, maybe looking after babies and children is! Babysitting is another amazing way to get your first job by making a positive difference. Since many parents work long hours, babysitters are always in-demand. According to an article by Global News, a mother in Toronto said teens typically charged her between $12–15 an hour to babysit.

This can be a great job option for you if you’re already used to looking after younger siblings. As part of the job, you will most likely be asked to feed the kids, play with the children, get them ready for bed, and possibly change a few diapers. You probably already do all that if you have a younger brother or sister anyway! However, it is always important to listen to what the children’s parents ask of you rather than assuming what the children need.
Legally, there is no specific age at which you can start babysitting. However, babysitting is a big responsibility, and it is important to fully understand what it involves. Normally, you can start babysitting between 12 to 13 years old. Babysitting courses are also offered to any pre-teens or teens interested in learning more about babysitting responsibilities and getting ready for the job. For example, a babysitting course offered by the Canadian Red Cross is open to youth between the ages of 11 to 15 and teaches CPR skills, how to look after babies, how to prevent unsafe situations, and how to handle emergencies. This can be a good way for newcomers to better prepare themselves for the job. Once prepared for the babysitting life, there are two ways to find babysitting work. You can create a job posting on a website, such as Babysits.ca, and talk about your experience, useful skills, as well as your expected pay. You can also indicate what time of day you’re available as well as where you want to work. Again, it is a good idea to have a parent or guardian present when using these websites to avoid any problems. Youths and their parents can also ask other people in their community about babysitting opportunities. Often, a face-to-face connection helps when finding babysit work, as you can introduce yourself to the family and talk to them about their worries.

Bake sales and drink stands

lemonade stand
Hosting a bake sale or running a drink stand is technically not a long-term job, but it can be a great way to build independence and feel what it’s like to make money, especially if you’re too young for other jobs. Bake sales are booths that sell homemade desserts like cupcakes, muffins, and cookies to passing customers. Like bake sales, drink stands often serve lemonade or hot drinks for a few dollars to people walking by. If you’re interested in running a bake sale or drink stand, you must make sure your parents are willing to pay for the ingredients needed to make the food or drinks. It is also important to find a good location to place your stand. Bake sales or drink stands are usually placed in front of schools or community centres, but you can also use your own driveway or set a booth at an intersection. If you are interested in having your stand placed at school or at a community centre, you must get permission from someone who works there. While these stands won’t be permanent, it is a good way to get a feel for what it’s like to work and earn your own money, and you can stop whenever you want. For children learning English, bake sales can also serve as an opportunity for children to speak with customers and practise their language skills. The stands help you build connections with others in the community too. Lastly, bake sales and drink stands allow newcomer children to build their independence through the process of baking and cooking, deciding how much they will sell their items for, and dealing with customers.

Now take the time to get involved in the community and collect some extra money while helping the rest of the neighbourhood! These opportunities offer you a small taste of work-life and hopefully ease your transition into more professional work settings in the future.

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