Time to get a job (or internship)!
Summer jobs are a rite of passage for teens. Watch any teen movie that takes place in the summertime and you’ll probably see the main characters spending their days bagging groceries or operating carnival rides. And there’s a reason for this. Summer jobs bring in some extra cash to buy that pair of shoes they’ve had their eye on for a couple weeks (and stops them from begging mums and dads to give them more money!). But they also help keep teens busy during the summer and allow them to gain some valuable real-world insight (hello, the value of a Hong Kong dollar!) and experience they can’t learn in school.
In this great city we call home, finding a job as a teen can be easier said than done, and, many require a fluency in Cantonese (we found a few that don’t). Since many of you mums out there have bilingual kids, we think those choices are a good start. Either way, here’s a list of places with summer jobs in HK to keep your teen busy, whether they just want some extra cash or want to get a head start building a resume. We’ve also provided resources to help them find what will suit them most. And while this article focuses on mainly summer positions, the good news is a lot of these opportunities can be extended year-round.
Editor’s note: Know of any good jobs for teens or great sites that can help? Email us at [email protected] and let us know!
Typical Summer Jobs
For a lot of us who were raised outside of Hong Kong, the first thing we picture when we think of summer jobs is waiting tables or tearing tickets at the local movie theatre. Here are those types of gigs and a few other options available around Hong Kong.
Known for being a great working environment, Starbucks is a good option for a teen looking for something to do (as well as get a little extra pocket money). Plus, they’ll learn how to brew a decent cup of coffee. Starbucks in Hong Kong does come with a couple of basic requirements, though. In order to work as a barista for Starbucks you will need to be able to speak Cantonese and you must be 17 or older. If you’re interested in what opportunities Starbucks has to offer, check out its website or send a WhatsApp. It’s pretty responsive.
Starbucks, WhatsApp: 6971 1029
A Hong Kong staple, 7-11 is everywhere and it does hire for the summer. Unfortunately, it won’t hire anyone under the age of 18. But if you have an 18-year-old (or kid home from university!) looking for a way to earn some extra cash, 7-11 is on the hunt for shop assistants, who take care of all the everyday tasks that keep 7-11 running smoothly. Like Starbucks, a command of Cantonese is a must. If interested in 7-11, there’s no need to schedule an interview, managers will do walk-in interviews at its recruitment centre in Lai Chi Kok Monday through Friday from 9am until 5pm (except on public holidays). All your teen needs to do is show up at the address below with proof of education and employment history for the walk-in interview. Check out its website for more details.
7-11, 8/F, Saxon Tower, 7 Cheung Shun Street, Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon. Recruitment hotline: 2299 8150, WhatsApp: 6657 8720.
If your older kid is a little more independent and is obsessed with dogs, they should check out Pawshake. Pawshake is an online community connecting pet owners to pet sitters and walkers. Anyone over the age of 18 can sign up as a sitter by simply filling out its quick and easy online application form. Once approved, you set up your own sitter profile and then it’s up to you to decide what services you want to offer. You’re responsible for finding your own clients and making your own schedule and you have full control over who you work with. It also has a handy app for your phone to help you manage your schedule and stay on top of your commitments. For more information, check out its website.
Pawshake, [email protected]
Broadway Circuit Cinemas
Does your teen love movies? Then this job is a great option. Broadway Circuit Cinemas is looking for teens in Form 5 or above (the equivalent to grade 11 in US schools) to be Cinema Service Assistants (both full and part time). The job requires a command of both Cantonese and Mandarin (along with English, of course). The best part? Employees get free movie tickets. If your teen is interested, they can email their resume, expected salary and date available to [email protected].
Broadway Circuit Cinemas, www.cinema.com.hk
More Interesting Opportunities
None of the options above seem to appeal to you or your teen? Here are some more unique opportunities. These jobs are more focused on gaining experience than anything else and, as such, most of them are unpaid.
Justice Centre’s Young Advocates Programme
The Justice Centre runs the Young Advocates Programme every summer for students ages 14 to 18 who are enrolled in local Hong Kong based programmes. The three-week programme is aimed towards students who are interested in law, human rights, government, social policy and NGO management. Students are provided the opportunity to engage in external meetings and events, learn about human rights campaigns, participate in a variety of legal tasks, and even work on their own projects. If your teen is interested in a law career, this programme is a must. Applications for the 2018 programme are already closed, but you can email them if you want to be added to the waitlist in the event of cancellations.
Kids4Kids hosts a range of volunteer activities for kids throughout the year, but come summertime it also hosts a series of internships ranging from two to eight weeks from June to August. Aside from regular operational tasks, participants in the programme will have the opportunity to help out in a variety of areas from editorial tasks to translating to graphic design. Roles include communication, graphic art and design, program development and video production. Unfortunately, the application deadline for Summer 2018 was April 13. But if your teen is interested in the organisation, there are a host of volunteer opportunities over the summer, and they can also check out the Advocates Leadership Team, which is a group of 15 youth volunteers chosen to work with Kids4Kids on community projects that they themselves organise throughout the year. Check out its website and find the application form here.
Kids4Kids, Unit A-D, 16/F, Tak Lee Commercial Building, 113-117 Wan Chai Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 3618 6811
Crossroads Student Internships
If your teen wants to make a difference in his or her community, tell them to look no further. The Crossroads student internship allows students the chance to work in an English-speaking environment doing a variety of things such as preparation of goods for distribution, shipping, computing, and working in its fair trade marketplace and café. They’re looking for students aged 17 and up with a variety of skills. They have two intakes for Summer 2018: 5 June through 14 July (application due 12 May) and 10 July through 18 August (application due 16 June). You can find out more information on its website.
Crossroads Foundation, 2 Castle Peak Road, Gold Coast, Tuen Mun, New Territories, Hong Kong [email protected]
Music for Life
Music for Life is a local organisation that uses music therapy to improve physical and mental well-being. It sees patients whose problems range from mental health issues to dementia to pre- and post-natal care. It offers non-paid internships for students who wish to learn more about music therapy. The job is mostly admin work, but those who are accepted can sit in on music therapy workshops. Students must be 16 or older, have basic computer skills and be able to both read and write in Cantonese. Bonus points if your teen has basic video editing skills. They generally give preference to university students, but are open to hiring high school students as well. Find more information here.
Music for Life, 13B Hop Ying Commercial Centre, 755 Nathan Road, Prince Edward, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2152 1642, [email protected]
Faust International Youth Theatre
Faust International Youth Theatre is a local Hong Kong organisation which offers challenging and creative workshops for students who want to learn more about theatre. It runs internships year-round in the form of Student Leaders (for students ages 16 and up) and Assistant Leaders (for students ages 18 and up). During the school year, these positions are primarily Saturday morning and afternoon jobs. Over the summer, it hires students as theatre assistants for its week-long summer theatre programmes. These jobs require a full week of work (Monday through Friday, 10am to 12:30pm or 2pm to 4:30pm) and ends with an open session for families and friends. Check out its website for more details. Interested candidates can email them at [email protected] with their CV and a cover letter.
Faust, 5/F, Nan Dao Commercial Building, 359 & 361 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2457 9799
Resources for Teens Looking for Jobs
The jobs above can give your teen a good starting point when looking for summer work, but there are plenty of other opportunities as well. Here are a couple of resources to help your child out:
Youth Employment Start (Y.E.S.)
Y.E.S. provides one-stop, personalised advisory and support services on employment and self-employment for people ages 15 to 29. Services include: career planning, pre-employment training (for people who feel they need more skills) and help with job hunting. It also provides in-depth information for job seekers about their rights and things to look out for when applying to jobs. They have two membership types: regular, for normal job seekers, and business, for young people who have registered their own business and are looking for extra resources. Membership is free. This is an all-round great resource for someone who’s not totally sure where to start.
Y.E.S., 9/F Metroplaza Tower II, Kwai Fong OR L42 Office Tower Langham Place, Mong Kok, 3585 8000, www.e-start.gov.hk
Hong Kong Teen PT Facebook Group
If time is an issue (your child can’t commit to the whole summer) or your kid wants to find some odd jobs during the school year, this Facebook page may help them out. Hong Kong Teen PT Facebook Group was created just for teens who are looking for part time jobs, especially those who have a tougher time finding work elsewhere. This group works both ways: teens who are seeking jobs can post, listing what skills they have and what kinds of jobs they want to do; and people looking for help can post in search of part-time workers. People have posted a wide variety of jobs from babysitting to tutoring to things as complex as web design and help with event coordination. If you spend some time browsing, you’re bound to find something that interests your teen. Parents are encouraged to join as well so they can monitor who contacts their kids.
Useful Job-Hunting Sites
There are also a few online job hunting sites where kids can search for English-speaking jobs. Many of them allow you to input your email and get custom emails sent to you when job openings are listed. Here are a few that have many types of postings, including tutoring and internships: