BY ELENA VALDEZ
Working is an unavoidable part of life, even if one takes up an obscure or dream job, it is still work. The introduction into this process often begins in later high school years, as students seek out part-time employment alongside school for a number of reasons.
The motivation as to why a teen might apply varies, but there are universal benefits and downsides that come along with a job. Maybe they want more money, or they want to learn how to better manage their time or they’re looking to teach themself responsibility– all of these are valid reasons for seeking employment while still in high school and there are a number of options to choose from.
In the United States, one must be at least 16 years old to apply and hold a job for any company, store or restaurant. Work permits for those younger than 16 are available but are used when a child needs to work, not so much if they want to. Typical teen jobs are entry-level positions that require little training and only the usage of basic skills.
Restaurants and retail jobs are the most popular options. They provide workable hours, such as after school and on the weekends, when teenagers have the time to go to work rather than school. Many students work the lowest level jobs on the corporate ladder until their completion of high school.
The motivation as to why a teen might apply varies, but there are universal benefits and downsides that come along with a job.
These jobs provide sufficient money and experience for high schoolers looking to mature even further. However, there are certain responsibilities and sacrifices made upon committing to working 20 hours a week.
Jobs will add to the stress of school. Balancing homework, extracurriculars and an adequate social life become more difficult with the responsibility of a job on a teenager’s plate. This is especially true of entry-level jobs that require work late into the night and early on the weekends, like working for a fast-food chain or store.
Most of these places are big corporations that couldn’t care less about their employees’ well-being as well. They will not care that you are tired or have a concert next weekend; they will want you to work and, as an employee, you’re expected to make that sacrifice.
At this point in one’s life, where they are still young and have the world waiting in front of them, letting a job consume them is simply not worth it. The money may be nice and going to work kills time when there’s nothing else to do, but if it causes stress and dread it simply isn’t worth it. Students already have the many obligations of school on their plate, a job will only add to the list. And, once they start working, it’s hard to stop. It’s a cycle one enters and doesn’t leave until retirement.
At this point in one’s life, where they are still young and have the world waiting in front of them, letting a job consume them is simply not worth it.
It is recommended that full-time students work no more than 16 hours a week, which is challenging when most places schedule right out of school late into the night and multiple days a week. This creates exhaustion and affects one’s academic importance. As a student first and foremost, education should be the top priority. It’s important to find a job that does not interfere with this and that job will be different for everybody.
A part-time job in high school is overall beneficial when a healthy balance is achieved. This balance follows all the way through college and into the working world once graduated. Part-time jobs can be challenging, with long hours required and potentially stressful situations. However, they are an introduction to what many will be doing until they die, and learning how to cope and manage this sort of thing from an early age isn’t as bad as it may seem.
Photo by The Lariat Photography