The time is now 2:45 and you just got home from a long day at school, you throw your bag down and all you want to do is unwind, but you can’t because you have to be clocked into work in less than an hour. Sure, you have some time to chill out and enjoy a taste of free time, but just knowing that you have a five-hour shift ahead of you is ruining your relaxation time. There are many benefits from having a job in high school, but you may run into problems that just might ruin your day.
Having a job in high school introduces teens to certain life skills, such as management, social skills, and work ethic. “High school is very busy一maintaining a job on top of everything else is a great way to learn effective time management,” said CHS lifestyle teacher Mrs. Butala. Learning these skills at a younger age will prepare you more for your future as an everyday member of the American workforce. One great thing that comes out of working a job in high school is that you’re able to earn your own money. You will no longer have to ask your parents for money when you want to go out with your friends. There is also a small sense of achievement when you’re able to pay for your own things. I remember when I got my first job and I could go to dinner and partake in other outings with my friends without having to ask my parents to pay and it made me feel more independent. Another reason why having a job in high school is that it helps you find out what you want to do with the rest of your life; you realize that you don’t want to be working a minimum wage job for the rest of your life.
Many people think that getting a job in high school is something that every teen needs to do, but to teenagers, getting a job is the last thing they want to do. Teens already have a busy schedule as it is with school, homework, after school sports and extracurriculars, so adding a job to the equation and still trying to enjoy some free time sounds impossible. “Many aspects of life are very demandingーhomework, teachers, tests, college, and parentsーand extremely overwhelming,” said Butala. Students in high school may not want a job due to the fear of missing out on the social aspect of high school. There have been many times when I missed out on going to movies, bowling or dinner because I was at work and it never felt good; I knew that if I didn’t go to work I couldn’t pay when I was actually able to go out. “Shut off your phone and make it easier to ignore what others are doing; concentrate on the positives about work: the paycheck!” said Butala.
High school jobs are a great learning tool for some people, but not for others. If you’re a person with many after school activities and already busy as it is, you could probably wait to get a job when you’re not as busy; managing your busy schedule is already a teachable moment. If you’re a person that just goes home after school and you find yourself feeling bored and unfulfilled, getting a job can help you fill your time and save up some money. “You have to have a plan; you need to make lists and prioritize things,” said Butala. Overall, high school jobs are a great responsibility for teenagers to learn to manage, but it can depend on the type of person, their availability, or family matters.