Working teens can be a double-edged sword. Research shows that some teens may get lower grades and even get into trouble with drugs and alcohol as a result of after-school jobs, but for many, the benefits outweigh the potential risks. Building experience, self-reliance, and important skills are among some of the best benefits many teens see from part-time work, and they’re among the best reasons for teens to get an after-school job. Read on, and we’ll discuss these benefits and more as we explore 12 great reasons teens should work while in school.
Parents of teens today know how expensive it can be to have a teenager in the house: electronics, clothes, even a car can all add up to huge bills. Some families can afford these trappings of teen life, but not all can or want to pay for them. When teens take on a part time job, they are better able to contribute to the purchase of these fun teen expenses or completely fund them for themselves.
Sure, kids can learn about personal finance from earning an allowance, but that’s small potatoes. When teens begin to earn their very own dollars, the real lesson begins. As they earn money and subsequently spend it, parents have the opportunity to teach their children about responsible money management. Contributing to car expenses and their college fund, creating a budget, and learning just how much things like food and gas cost are all lessons that are possible with a teen’s paycheck.
These days, the job market tends to favor those with experience over education. Although a college degree is still very valuable, it’s even more valuable when paired with a resume full of experience. Students who are able to work during their high school and college years are able to demonstrate this experience and build valuable entries on their resume. This experience also demonstrates that they are able to successfully balance work and education at the same time.
Another great way that part-time work benefits a teen’s resume? References. By working part time, teens can establish contacts with adult employers that can function as references and give recommendations in the future. These connections may even be able to offer future job opportunities once students are able to work at a higher level.
Obviously, teens love to spend their part-time earnings on fun stuff, but they can spend it responsibly, too. By saving all or part of their part-time earnings, students can make a major dent in their college expenses, taking a load off of their parents and avoiding costly student loans that can hinder post-graduate financial growth.
Kids who might otherwise be idle find something good to do in their hours after school. Employers offer a sort of adult supervision for teen workers, giving them a productive activity beyond their school work. Keeping teens busy, instead of idle, just might be key to keeping them out of trouble during the afternoon and evening.
Holding down a job is an important stepping stone to adulthood. With a job, teens are able to better practice independence and self reliance. This is especially true for teens coming from a background of poverty, allowing them to find the opportunity to live a better life.
Although it’s true that holding down a job can interfere with school work, this strain is also an important lesson. Teens who work while still maintaining school learn about the struggles of an adult life full of responsibilities and have an opportunity to explore how they will balance all of their commitments as an adult. Learning this lesson while still under a watchful parental eye offers a great opportunity to explore when the stakes are not so high.
Another great part of the balancing lesson that comes along with teen work: better grades. Studies have shown that students who work 10 to 15 hours a week during the school year earn higher grades than students who don’t work at all. It’s likely that having a limited amount of time to get school work done encourages kids to actually do it rather than put it off and forget about it altogether.
When an adult has trouble finding a job, it’s a big deal, but teens who struggle to find employment don’t have so much at stake. Conducting a job search as a teen is a great time to teach kids skills like filling out an application, writing a resume, and learning how to give a good interview. Mastering these skills at a young age can help teens to be better prepared when it’s time to find a career-launching job.
One would hope that a teen’s part time job as a dishwasher doesn’t turn out to be a career, but working small odd jobs as a teen can prove to be a career booster nonetheless. Teens who work in a restaurant in high school may be inspired to start their own dining establishment after college. Others might be turned on to a field they might not have considered before: a summer job at the local aquarium might spark an interest in marine biology.
As teens work at a part-time job, they learn just how capable they are, building confidence and self-reliance. This can help teens feel more independent, and develop a sense of responsibility as a young adult.