If you’re a high school student, getting a part-time job can be a wonderful idea. In fact, according to data provided by Child Trends, almost half of all young people ages 16 to 24 in the U.S. work either full or part-time. In Canada, 56 percent of undergraduate students have jobs, with the average working student putting in approximately 18 hours a week.
Some studies show that 18 percent of high school students have jobs. This can be a great way to have extra spending money or to save for travel and post-secondary school. Tuition rates are rising and parents are not always able to help fund the hefty cost of post-secondary education. Working is a fantastic way to ensure you have money on hand to contribute to your future.
But there are even more great reasons to work as a teenager. It teaches responsibility, as well as time management and organizational skills. Working will give you a sense of independence and help you gain valuable work habits and experience. Being employed as a teen is also linked to increased rates of graduation and greater earnings in the adult years.
The key is to ensure you’re finding a balance. Studies show that students who work more than 20 hours a week have lower grades than students who work fewer hours. Working too much can conflict with class and leave less time to study and complete school work. It also might detract from participating in extra-curricular activities, such as sports, drama and music. These activities also provide important benefits, so you don’t want to give these up.
With balance in mind, there are some great job opportunities available for students interested in working part time.
The first step is to think about your interests, goals and your current schedule. For instance, do you like sports? Math? Computers? Kids? You might want to offer skating lessons or help coach a team if you’re a hockey whiz. If you excel at math, maybe you can tutor. Ask around or put up signs offering your math services. If you are great at computer coding, there are several small businesses that teach coding to kids. Why not approach them and see if they need help with an after-school program? If you like kids and tend to be free on weekends, maybe you want to babysit. There are many opportunities you might not have considered that tend to be perfect for students. For instance, you can be a lifeguard, camp counsellor, take on a student internship, caddy at a golf club or help a landscaper.
This is also the time to think about your goals. If you want to be a teacher, working with kids or tutoring can be a great entry into that field and will look great on your resume in future. If you’re more entrepreneurial and dream of having your own business one day, this might be a great time to start thinking of ways to make your first business happen.
It’s also important to consider how much time you have available. Do you tend to be busy during the week with academics and extra-curricular activities? You’ll want to look for jobs you can do during the weekends or perhaps during the summer instead of during the school year. If you have an easier semester and tend to have time in the evenings, consider a job that would enable you to work evening hours.
Go online and do some of your own research. There are many job search sites that feature jobs for students. You might find some you’d never considered before. It’s often just as helpful to find jobs you’re not at all interested in doing. This will help you narrow your search and focus in on your interests and needs.
Write down some ideas as part of a brainstorm. Get your friends, parents, a teacher or guidance counsellor involved—they are sure to have some thoughts on how you can proceed. They want to see you succeed and can be helpful in providing guidance when you need it most.
Once you’ve figured out what you want to do and how much time you have to devote to it, get your resume started. If you have one already, that’s great—you’re ahead of the game. Make sure to read it over and polish it off, updating it with a new goal or objective. Start approaching potential employers to let them know you’re interested in applying for a job. This might lead to a phone or in-person interview. Be honest about your goals and the time you have available.
And make sure you have a bank account set up because soon enough you’ll have money to deposit.
Crestwood Echo May 3rd, 2019
As parents, we want our teens to learn responsibility, work hard and earn money. The same line of thinking can make many teens eager to get their first job. According to Statistics Canada, approximately 46% of Canadians ages 15 to 19 have jobs. But is an after-school job actually a good idea?
[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]working during the school year can have many positive benefits.[/pullquote]
On one hand, it may sound risky. An after-school job can leave your teen with less time for volunteering, extra-curricular activities, socializing and of course, doing their homework. Without sufficient skills to organize and prioritize, your teen might end up being pulled in too many directions, stressed out, tired or left with too little time to focus on getting good grades. At the end of the day, isn’t getting into a good university or college program their most important job?
A recent study by researchers at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia were intrigued by this dilemma. The researchers analyzed information from the Youth in Transition Survey by Statistics Canada to determine whether, in fact, teenage employment is bad. They looked at responses from nearly 250,000 young Canadians at various points as they grew up. They determined that working during the school year can have many positive benefits.
The researchers found that teens who worked between 25 to 31 hours during the school year experienced many advantages. For instance, the more hours a teen worked at age 15, the more likely they were to be working at age 21. In addition, teens who worked at 15 were more likely to earn more as they got older. Analysts found that 15-year-olds who worked 33 hours a week during the school year earned 25 percent more at age 23. Teens who worked too many hours, however, could experience negative effects.
It can be surmised that having to juggle the competing demands of school and work as teenagers teaches teens how to balance these demands later on. Additional responsibility helps them become more prepared, organized and adept at time management as they get older. Plus, the head start they have in terms of building their resume and networking can give them a leg up over teens who didn’t work during high school.
The Sauder School study also found that teens who worked during high school had better suited careers than those who didn’t work. Whether a teen worked for a family business or an external employer, they were more likely to have better-fitting jobs in the long term. That’s likely because working teaches teens from an early age what they do and don’t want to do in future. They are exposed to different work environments and management styles, helping them narrow down what sorts of occupations they want in future. Teens who don’t work in high school might end up having to discover these same lessons when they are already in the workforce.
There are still many unanswered questions and there’s no right answer. The study couldn’t determine the long-term consequence of teenage employment on future work patterns. For instance, are those who worked as teens happier than those who didn’t? Do they have lower divorce rates and a healthier family life as a result? In other words, working as a teen might not put you further ahead or guarantee a better life as an adult.
When deciding whether to let your teen work, there is a lot to consider. Do they want to work or are you pushing them in that direction? Are they learning responsibility and discipline from volunteering or extra-curricular commitments? Do they have a demanding academic schedule? Are they already struggling to balance coursework with teenage life and succeed academically? These are things you’ll want to consider, in addition to the research.
Indeed, parenting attitudes are changing, school is being seen as a teenager’s “job” and, in fact, fewer teens are working now than in previous years. It’s an individual decision, and one that only you and your teen can make. Now that you have some additional information at your fingertips, you are better equipped to have this all-important discussion with your teen.
Echo Editor November 30th, 2017