News


Mom creates TeenJobFind app for teens seeking work

Resource allows the community to hire teens for neighborhood tasks

Palo Alto mother of three Janet Shah wanted her kids to develop a sense of the value of money and to gain work experience, but she saw few opportunities.

The first lesson she demonstrated was taking the initiative. Shah created an app called TeenJobFind in August 2017. Midpeninsula residents can post odd jobs for teenagers such as gardening, washing cars and assisting with technology on the app. Teens can view all of the job listings and choose what works best for them according to their schedules.

Kids today don't have the time for a traditional job the way she did when growing up because of school pressure, Shah, who is the company founder and CEO, said.

TeenJobFind is open to youth as young as 13 — there isn't a work permit required for the jobs listed on the site. But teens must have a reference before they can register for the app. Their parents have to approve each job once they are notified, she said.

Community job posters must also comply with a mandatory seven-year criminal background check to see if they have ever been convicted or have pending cases for violent crimes, theft, felony, sexual or drug-related offenses. These measures help to ensure safety precautions are met before sending teens to people's homes, Shah said.

Pediatrician and Palo Alto resident Linda Faust, who uses the app along with her daughter, said she appreciates the safety and the lengths to which the app goes to keep parents informed and teens safe. The app is a great opportunity for teens with busy schedules, she added.

"These days, teens are very scheduled and don't have large amounts of free time," she said.

TeenJobFind also isn't just for teens. One of the biggest challenges Shah faces is getting parents to use it themselves, she said. Some adults are finding the app and taking advantage of all it has to offer.

Resident Lisa Bertelsen, who works as a communications consultant for startups, learned about the app last fall after moving back to Palo Alto from New York. She previously used a similar service and decided to give TeenJobFind a try, she said.

Bertelsen primarily uses the app to find babysitters. She is pleased with the teens she has hired so far and likes to support small businesses, she said. But she would like the ability to request sitters.

"It would be good to know which teens are available at any given time. Sometimes we just want to have an impromptu night out, which is hard to do because most Palo Alto kids have full schedules," she said.

TeenJobFind is also reaching people outside of Palo Alto's neighborhoods. Jayne Uberti, who lives in San Carlos, heard about the app through word of mouth eight months ago. She has lifting-and-bending restrictions due to a sports injury. The app helped her find teens to assist with household chores and cleaning. It was great seeing the fulfillment in the faces of teens who have come to her house, she said.

"The opportunity for them to earn money, to get the gratification of helping someone and completing a project ... that is a really great trade-off. They're happy to be here, and that makes all the difference in the world. I don't want someone who has to be here because they have to be here," she said.

Fraser Kelly, 15, discovered the app when she was 14 and has been using it ever since.

Kelly has done various jobs, including weed whacking, car washing and other duties, which she described as not typical, easy tasks.

"It's a fun experience because it's not like a 9-to-5 job. It seems like it's a chore but you're making money off it," she said.

The jobs are a great way to build work ethic for teens, Kelly added.

"This app is a really good introduction to real-world jobs."

She could see the app becoming a service for teens who are not old enough to legally get a job and a way to mentor and train them for future work, she added.

Shah said creating the app is gratifying. "I'm helping teach today's teenagers lessons that they will take with them for the rest of their lives."

She hopes to create a sense of community not only by helping teens with finding jobs, but by connecting everyone together, she added. She is pushing for the app to go national within three to five years.

"Everybody kind of wants that sense of community. This is bringing that back in a way that had been lost for quite some time," she said.

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Comments

28 people like this
Posted by Kids Today Are LAZY
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 27, 2019 at 9:48 am

> Midpeninsula residents can post odd jobs for teenagers such as gardening, washing cars...

When was the last time you saw a local teen doing any of the above or even cutting a lawn?

> Kids today don't have the time for a traditional job the way she did when growing up because of school pressure,

'Pressure' = maintaining adequate time for texting/tweeting & hanging out at the mall. Those priorities take prescedence over 'school pressure'.

A kid down the street gets a $400/month allowance (for doing nothing) and when I ran a similar concept by him, he replied that that would only work for $45+/hour if at all. He said that anything near CA minimum wage is for peons.








15 people like this
Posted by down home values
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 27, 2019 at 10:31 am

@Kids Today Are LAZY
LMFTFY: many affluent Kids Today Are LAZY


The young lass who ground my beans at a coffee shop this morning (not in PA) is working plenty hard for low wages. We yakked; she's a high school senior...

me: oh, how exciting. Any plans for next year?

her: well, going away for my first year.

me: well there ya go, even more exciting. Where to?

her: MIT


Assigning generational values based on anecdotal stories in CP is folly.


12 people like this
Posted by Another Crescent Park Observer
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2019 at 1:10 pm

"Assigning generational values based on anecdotal stories in CP is folly."

The coffee gal obviously & probably does not reside in Palo Alto or Crescent Park for that matter.

Palo Alto = the land of privileged spoiled brats.


14 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2019 at 4:02 pm

resident3 is a registered user.


@Kids today are lazy,

Of course it depends on the kids and the families but my observation of the kids in town is that they work very hard. Times have changed, there aren't newspaper routes and communication channels are obviously different and they aren't hanging out in the neighborhood all day. Many are in sports, theater, music, or other activities (see recent article on garage robotics teams) which develop a work ethic not different from any other job. Others volunteer, are politically active.

I'm glad this app is available and hope to use it for some computer stuff, as I have some things that I'm sure kids are much better at than I am.








7 people like this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 28, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Before people run off and say that today's kids are lazy, they should remember that most of the jobs that I and others had when we were teenagers are now given to adult employees and many companies wouldn't even think/dare to employee teenagers as:

meat cutter at supermarkests, welder/pipe fitter at HVAC company, mowing lawns, driving a tractor at a nursery, operate a trash compacter, deliver newspapers, clerk at hardware store, haul lumber at construction site.

If companies did employee teenagers there would be other adults that scream that the teenagers were being taken advantage off/abused and would call for an investigation and criminal penalties.

/marc


10 people like this
Posted by Justin/15
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 28, 2019 at 2:27 pm

>> Before people run off and say that today's kids are lazy, they should remember that most of the jobs that I and others had when we were teenagers are now given to adult employees...

In which case there should be entitlement programs for teenagers who now displaced from the labor market by adult workers.

If adults can collect welfare & unemployment, why shouldn't teenagers who after showing they made an honest effort to seek work, cannot be placed accordingly?

Either that or adult parents based on their income level should be required by law to remunerate their teen-aged children with a mandatory stipend of say, $100.00 per month.

For those parents who cannot afford this allowance, the state should have a mandatory social services program that pays maybe $35.00 per month with a required job seek program.

This will reduce or alleviate teenage shoplifting, drug dealing and all of the things adults do when they are short on cash.



3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2019 at 3:31 pm

I know a couple of people who are recruiters or HR for tech companies.

One thing hirers take into consideration is previous experience. If a college grad has no work experience, then it has hard to what their work ethics may be at a job level (as opposed to academic level). They take into account those who list on their resume after school jobs, weekend jobs and vacation jobs. They take note that these prospective employees have kept a job for a while, have been diligent with time keeping and work place rules, they have turned up dressed appropriately and are able to do their job without too much oversight.

Community service programs and after school activities may get them into college, but quite often those are of little interest to future employers who really want to know about work ethic and work experience.

I think this sounds like a great app for teens and wish all teens well who earn money and more importantly work skills to stand by them for future employment.

Whether it is washing cars or mowing lawns, or scooping ice cream or checking movie tickets, work experience is a good preparation for future employment.


12 people like this
Posted by Justin/15
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 28, 2019 at 3:53 pm

>...he replied that that would only work for $45+/hour if at all. He said that anything near CA minimum wage is for peons.

Minimum wage is an exploitation of people & labor.

> Whether it is washing cars or mowing lawns, or scooping ice cream or checking movie tickets, work experience is a good preparation for future employment.

Can you make $45/hour for the above jobs? If so, I have no problem with them.

On the other hand, if the purpose of going to college is to get a good job shouldn't these menial jobs be reserved for those who don't go or won't be going to college?

A guy down the street moved back home after graduating from Brown & now works as a barrista at an upscale coffee shop for minimum wage + tips. His parents are very disappointed and said he could have gone to Foothill to do that kind of work.

I've already got it figured out. I'm going to college but during the summers I'll be working in the union construction trades once I turn 18. Some of those experienced guys make far more money than college graduates...like way more.

And you get to drink beer at the end of the day with your co-workers!


5 people like this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 28, 2019 at 6:58 pm

To: Justin/15

You are correct in that if you want a high paying job you don't need a 4 year college degree. Welding, plumbing, electrical work, NC machine tools will all get you high paying jobs that are indoors and don't talk physical toll on your body that roofing, home construction, etc will do.

Specialize in technical welding, medical/technical instrument plumbing and commercial electrical work are all in short supply, 2 - 4 year apprentice programs will get you a job and you get paid while you are doing it.

/marc


2 people like this
Posted by From What I've Seen
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 29, 2019 at 7:11 pm

>...many affluent Kids Today Are LAZY

So what else is new?

The upper-middle class often enables while the extreme lower classes frequently turn to crime.

It's the upper lower to lower middle class kids that actually work these days.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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