Hi Dr. Laura,
I owe my father so much in getting me started in working. As a pre-teen, I started out with 4 grass-cutting jobs for neighbors. Not just pushing a lawn mower, doing the edging too. $5 per lawn was good money back then.
I did not throw my money around, I saved it, but once I hit 13, my father thought I should try making more money (I had a lot of idle time between grass cutting jobs in the spring-fall). In his childhood days he had been a caddy and he literally dragged me to the private golf course (in town) that he had worked at.
He only needed to get me up there 1 time. I took it from there. While in school, I would caddy on weekends. On holidays and summer break, I caddied Tuesday-Friday. The course was closed on Monday, so I would play golf on that course with friends on Monday. 4 hours carrying 2 heavy golf bags day after day. Sometimes I would go 2 rounds in one day.
I loved it and stayed with it until I turned 19. I then applied to work on the course as a greens keeper. More steady work, but still hard work in the great outdoors. I commuted from Seton Hall and would work in the afternoons after classes until it got dark (cutting grass, raking traps and leaves, pruning trees, etc). One semester I was able to schedule my classes so that I had Tuesday and Thursday off. I would work 8 hour days at the golf course on those days. During the spring/summer, this was a 7 day/week job. Monday-Friday it was 7am-3pm. Saturday and Sunday was 6am to 10am.
The takeaways from this experience were a dedication to going to work (I am now a Tax Manager). I hate to miss a day and often work thru sicknesses. The other takeaway is that I truly enjoy my scheduled time away from work.
Absolutely no question finding work, good, hard, paying work as a child builds a strong work ethic as an adult.