How Old Do You Have to be to Work at McDonalds?
The Federal government has passed the “Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)” that sets the minimum age to work at most jobs (including McDonalds and Wal-Mart) at 14-years-old. It also limits the number of hours that employees under the age of 16 are allowed to work.
Because of the hour limitations for 14 and 15-year-olds, a large number of companies require a minimum age of 16 for their employees. Another factor companies might not hire employees under 16 is that the older teens tend to be more mature and, therefore, more reliable. Of course, no one is suggesting that no 14 or 15-year-olds are reliable, only that the percentage of 16-year-olds that are mature enough to make good employees is higher. The message here is that the younger you are, the more important it becomes to impress upon the prospective employer that you are a very responsible teenager.
So what if you’re under 14-years-old or older but finding it hard to get a job due to your age? Well, there are many jobs that aren’t covered by the “Fair Labor Standards Act”. Most states limit the amount of time you can work each week at these jobs and/or limit the conditions under which you can work. Some states also limit these jobs by age but in most states you can earn money in many ways including but not limited to:
Whatever you do, be inventive! What things are you good at? Are there other people who might need that service or good? Always remember that you have to prove yourself. We all do! When you’re young it’s just a bit harder because you don’t have a “track record” and older employers have had many bad experiences with unreliable young people.
Your first jobs are very important! Later when you’re looking for a really great job, being able to give that family you babysat for as a teenager as a reference to your character will be a great asset for you! The McDonalds Manager that says what a fantastic employee you were at 16 will impress the hiring manager at that Fortune 500 Corporation you want to work at when you’re 21-years-old.
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