Every Spring, the routine is the same. Scramble to get your taxes done, and then the stream of students looking for seasonal summer jobs begins. You know it is Spring just by these two things!
But every year, students try and get those jobs that are in the paper, or the local fast food place, or any typical place that hires summer students. Every convenience store, donut shop, garden center, and constructions site, will swell with many summer students trying to make money before they head back to school in the fall.
Some will need it to for college and to keep that horrible student loan to a minimum, others use these seasonal summer jobs to save money for things they want. Whatever the reason, many times there are just not enough summer jobs to go around, or that pay very well.
Depending on a students circumstances, he may be quite happy with a part time job for the summer that also leads into a part time one over the school year. But for many college students, this is the only time they can make a pocketful of money to help with school expenses.
But what to do, when the typical jobs run out? This is where a student needs to get creative. There is, of course the lawn cutting jobs, or the babysitting jobs. But what else?
Well, one of the best ways to find seasonal summer jobs, is to get creative and find a need in the community. There is one need, that if you approached people, they may just be willing to pay for the service.
Before you hit the back button, believe me there is a need! Many homeowners are taking pride in their gardens, by getting landscape architects in, and landscape designers to come up with plans to make their gardens of their dreams. Gardens that promise an oasis, for when you get home from work.
But what many don't realize, is how much maintenance can be in those first couple of years, until the garden becomes more established. Plants that will grow to be quite large are planted a good few feet apart, and even with a bed of mulch, there will be weeds.
Many homeowners are not really planning on that!
A friend of ours runs a lawn cutting business. He hires students in the summer to help. But many of his customers, have started to get rid of the large areas of lawn in exchange for beautiful gardens and patios, complete with gazebo's, and flower beds. His lawn area has been cut down, but now he has seen more and more homeowners, wanting help with the weeding and upkeep of these gardens. The students he hires, only want to cut lawns.
He decided to add this as a sideline. But noticed even his neighbors, that have smaller flower beds and patios gardens, just don't have the time to do the maintenance. Some are more likely to cut their own lawns, but not weed flower beds.
This is actually a pet peeve of many people. Weeding flower beds.
As these gardens are created, homeowners try to plant "ground cover" plants, and use weed carpet and all kinds of products, in the hopes of having a beautiful garden and landscaped property with no upkeep.
A landscape designer, I know of, told me, that some people will ask her to design a garden, patio and yard, that will require minimum upkeep, and they still can't keep up with that first two years of getting established. They will do it for the first few weeks when the garden is new. But after that, it gets hot, there is work, kids sports, vacations, barbecues and more going on in the summer, and the weeding jobs just don't get done. Now all those thousands they spent on garden design, are not looking their best!
So, if you, as a student are looking for seasonal summer jobs to do, then canvass your neighborhood. Many homeowners don't advertise for anyone, they usually just complain about it to their family and neighbors. But if you walk up to the door, or maybe when you see them in the yard trying to weed. Let them know you will do this for them for a fee, for your summer job.
Once one neighbor sees you weeding and doing general garden maintenance, they may just hire you as well.
Go over the garden with them, make sure you are aware of what is a weed and what is not. Many times, my lawn cutting friend said, they mostly want that edged look, and that turned over weed free look. The edging is a big one, as after a new garden is installed, the grass from the lawn will try very hard to creep into the flower beds. Even just edging a garden can make it look better.
Or edging around the driveway. You may find homeowners are very receptive to the idea of you coming over once a week or so, to weed their flower beds, and look after the gardens. If you find a few more customers, then you will have someone for everyday of the week. Also, don't be surprised if they want you to do a few other things around the yard. Now that they have you, you may be kept quite busy.
Think of the fresh air and exercise you will get. Many students would love an outside job.
Work out an hourly rate with the homeowner, then figure out if you are using their garden tools, or if you have to get your own. You will need to charge more if you are having to get your own garden tools. But this might be a great way to get more customers, if you show up with your own tools.
But in the meantime, especially if you don't have a car or van, and you are just canvassing your own neighborhood, then use their tools. If you do a good job, and pick up all the weeds and debris, and edge the garden, your homeowners, are going to come home from work, and see all of this work done, and relax.
A home is suppose to be a soft place to land at the end of the day, and if you create that feeling for the homeowner, then they will pay you for a job well done, and word of mouth will now be your best advertising.