To get some extra pocket money and to start saving for post-secondary education, teenagers and young adults work part-time jobs, mostly after school, working predominantly at fast-food restaurants. This is a positive decision made by teens and college students, because it’s one step closer to responsible adulthood.
Indeed, there are many critics of teenagers who decide to work 10 hours a week at a job after school, particularly because it distracts teens from studying and focusing on their grades. Whether or not this is correct is a moot point because it gives teens an opportunity to develop a work ethic, balance a budget and understand how to earn a buck.
Getting a part-time job during the school year or in the summer should be celebrated. Aside from just increasing the amount of money they have in their wallets, there are a wide variety of other benefits that certainly contribute to a young person’s human capital.
From communication skills to cooperating with others, society should be encouraging our teens and youth to get any job they can, even if it’s a McJob, which studies have shown is highly beneficial to their long-term career goals.
Here are five main benefits for students who work part-time jobs:
1. Financial Education
We give Millennials and Generation Zs a lot of grief for lacking the knowledge regarding personal finance. We regularly contend they don’t know how to stretch a dollar nor do they know the work that goes behind earning that same dollar. There can be a debate about this, but one thing is for sure is that teens who attain a job outside of school can gain a certain understanding about earning money, balancing the budget and the concept of a paycheck.
2. Social Network
Youth believe the only way to get ahead in your career is to be a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn extraordinaire. However, they’ll soon realize that they can get much farther by making connections in real life and in the workforce. By getting a 10-hour-a-week part-time gig, they’ll soon meet interesting people who happen to have the same career goals. This social network is a lot more beneficial than social media.
3. Develop Skills
There are just some things a high school or university can’t teach. Working at a job can help young people develop skills, like communication, organization, problem-solving, marketing and other components that help someone throughout their career. When it comes to communication, this is one area we can agree on that young people need to work on since they’re just immersed in their smartphones all day and speak with LOLs and OMGs.
An inflated self-esteem comes from completing an honest day’s work. When a young person finishes their first day, week, month or year at their employment position, they feel great about themselves and are confident in their ability. Indeed, there is no need for a 16-year-old to become vainglorious overnight, but they become a lot more comfortable and confident the more they work and the more they earn.
5. Pay for College
Lastly, we all can attest to the fact that college, university and other post-secondary institutions are expensive. Right now, Americans are paying back more than $1 trillion in student loans, and this isn’t feasible for the long-term and their potential prospects. When a young person works a few hours a week and earns a couple of hundred dollars, it helps gradually pay for the cost of tuition. They won’t be earning $40,000 in their senior year of high school, but any little bit helps.
Some teenagers never work in high school, while many young adults refuse to work during their college years. That’s their personal decision. With that being said, any 15-year-old interested in getting a job working evenings and weekends should be commended for their hard work, especially considering that many of their peers think it’s beneath them.