There are a lot of jobs that we did as kids that we tend to think we’ve outgrown. If we don’t think we’ve outgrown them, we think that they are now beneath us. However, these kid jobs can be the beginnings of a new full time job. Sure, you’ll be competing against the neighborhood kids for these jobs, but you have advantages that they don’t. You can drive, which means you can get to neighborhoods that are farther away. This means you can find neighborhoods that don’t have a lot of kids to give you much competition. You’re also able to stay out later or work earlier. You don’t have homework or after school activities, either, so you have more time to dedicate to servicing your clients. If Ms. Jones needs you to mow her lawn before her book club arrives at 3:00, you can do it but a kid in school cannot. You are also (theoretically) more responsible. Most people hiring you for a housesitting gig will not fear that you will throw a wild party in their absence, as they might with a kid.
Here are some examples of jobs that kids typically did in the old days, but which you can do, and probably do better.
Deliver papers: Bikes are seldom used anymore. Most routes these days go to those who can drive and who can be out before dawn to deliver.
Mow lawns: When an adult does it, it’s called “landscaping” and you can charge more.
Babysit: As an adult you can offer to stay with kids overnight and then drive them to school the next day, should the parents need to go out of town or stay with a sick relative. Kids with schoolwork (and no driver’s license) generally can’t offer that service. You can also sit kids during the day and call it daycare.
Shovel snow: This might be the only one where youth is an advantage. Shoveling snow is hard work but you, as an adult, can buy a snowblower and do more sidewalks in less time with less effort.
Walk dogs: A kid can’t let dogs out in the middle of the day during the week. You can. This is a great advantage when potential clients have dogs that can’t hold it very long.
Pet sit: Same as with babysitting. You can more easily be with pets during the day and stay with them overnight if need be. You are also able to drive a sick dog to the vet, which a kid cannot do.
Housesit/water plants/collect mail: An adult can take this as far as moving into the client’s house for the week to keep it looking occupied. A kid can only visit at certain times.
Rake leaves: As with snow shoveling, you can make this much easier and efficient by buying a leaf blower.
The neighborhood kids are great sources of cheap labor, however they are limited by age, money and other commitments. They cannot do all the things adults can do or provide as many services. Any of the above jobs can be turned into a full time income if you work at it. Many people make their whole living from landscaping, pet sitting, or babysitting. If you are strapped for cash, think back to your childhood and remember the jobs you did for pocket change. As an adult, you can often offer more than the kids do and make some decent money.