Did you know that nearly 30% of high school students hold a job for at least a part of the school year?
Working at such a young age involves important risks, as well as some benefits.
So, should teenagers hold part-time jobs? The truth is that there are several schools of thought.
This article lists both sides of the argument: the pros and the cons.
Let’s dive in!
Pro 1: You earn money.
Let’s face it; students work to make ends meet.
Students’ financial situation is often pretty tight. They have little or no money.
At the same time, they also have many expenses: textbooks, food, extra-curricular activities… you name it!
So when it comes to making money, every little bit helps.
But wait, there is more!
Working students also learn the value of money.
When you earn your own salary, you think twice about how you spend it. That’s why working students have better budgeting skills!
Con 1: It might hurt your grades.
Part-time jobs are time-consuming, and studying requires serious dedication.
So what are the effects of holding a part-time job while studying?
Here’s what the data shows: part-time jobs negatively affect grades if they work more than 20 hours a week.
High school can be a very stressful time in itself. Taking on a part-time job while pursuing a degree rubs salt into the wound.
Pro 2: You gain work experience.
Real-life work experience can’t be taught in school.
Yet, getting work experience is the most critical part of starting your career!
Think about it from an employer perspective; would you take the risk of hiring someone who has never worked a day in his life?
Having a first job will boost your resume even if it’s not in your field of study. It shows the employer that you are dedicated, responsible, and somewhat accustomed to the professional world.
Con 2: You cut your childhood short.
There are only 24 hours in a day.
And guess what? Working reduces your free time.
In other words, you have less time to enjoy your childhood.
Here’s the deal: once you start working, you will usually work for the rest of your life. Most people often remember high school as the last time they were free from the burden of work.
That’s what adolescence is all about!
Pro 3: It’s the first step into adulthood.
To grow up is to take responsibility.
That’s why holding a part-time job while in high school help you grow as a person.
Here are some skills that you might learn along the way:
- You learn time management. Weighing priorities is an essential life skill that working students learn to master.
- You contribute to society. Helping other people will help you garner a sense of accomplishment that studying can’t bring you.
- You develop interpersonal skills. Many part-time jobs involve collaboration with different types of people; it is a great opportunity to develop some interpersonal skills like receptiveness to feedback or relationship management.
Con 3: Entry-level jobs are tough.
Here’s the deal: high school students don’t have many skills.
So chances are, you will end up doing the tasks that no one else wants to do.
Who would want to work hard for a low salary?
That’s a lousy way to start your professional life.
The bottom line: should you work while in high school?
Getting a part-time job isn’t a decision you should take lightly.
As we have seen, working while in high school has a lot of benefits, but it also involves important risks.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before making your decision:
- What is my current stress level?
- Do I have enough free time?
- What are the benefits of holding this job?
- Am I struggling in school?
- How many hours a week can I work?
If you are still undecided, it could be a good idea to start with a summer job.
Summer jobs do not interfere with academic performance, and it can be a good test to see if you have what it takes to work during the school year.