Any time you work, whether it be at home or at an employer, safety should be your first concern at all times. Obviously, your parents should be a part of any employment you choose. They can help you in many different ways, some of which will keep problems from stressing you out.
- Always get your parent's permission. Yes, it is difficult at times, but trust us on this, you will want their help!
- Do not put your address, full name, or personal information on your business cards or fliers. You never know where they will travel to.
- Never put your full name or address on any advertising. You don't want strange people seeking you out, especially if they know your age or gender. Use your first two initials without a last name, if your parents allow you to advertise. If your name is Melanie Ann Smith, in your advertisement you can use "leave a message for MA for more details." This will hide your gender, last name, and age!
- Ask your parent or your school counselor if you can use their phone number for contacts. Never give out your cell phone number, no matter what. Tell them in the advertisement to "leave a message for MA" rather than allowing them to call you direct. Your counselor or parent can help screen calls that way.
- Don't advertise in large newspapers or free ad papers or city papers. Keep your advertising to your school paper or through word of mouth and bulletin boards at school.
- Never meet with anyone alone. Period.
- Never allow anyone in your home and do not open the door to any strangers while alone. If a person says they can't meet when your parents are around... Big Red Flag! This means you should tell them "no thanks."
- When making money arrangements, always... always... have a parent or other adult present. This way the client can not say they paid you when they didn't. If you have an adult present at all times, everyone will have to stay on the up-and-up.
- Use your common sense. Strangers are strangers, and they must build trust, not receive it on the first few meetings.