Is Part-Time Job, a Good Idea for Your Teen? Yes! Here’s Why!

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JLP Staff

Family /

Solid GPA and SAT scores are important for any student who wants to get into a good college, but are they enough to qualify him/her for the school of life?

Focusing on academics and getting reasonable grades is the designated job for any teenager and what most parents want to see their kids accomplish.

Indeed, getting into an Ivy League college is not an easy job (pun intended). It takes constant work, long hours of study and years of training their academic abilities for any child to be able to meet the highest standards in the country. From freshman to senior year, your kid has a defining period of four full years to work hard and succeed. It’s a period for them to be ambitious and start building his/her path in life. Meanwhile, there might not  be much free time, let alone time to get another job.

But the truth is that the best schools look for more than just good test scores. Surely, they are a major factor when your kid wants to gain entrance to a certain college, but universities also look for well-rounded students -- those individuals who can prove they can rise above academics and do more.

When it comes to resumes, the best ones rely on test scores along with some consistent extracurricular activities, since applications from students who manage more than school tasks in addition to a part-time job, indicate determination, drive, and perseverance.

Building Character

As children move closer to adulthood, their responsibilities increase. This is the time when they can assume more demanding roles, both within the family and in society overall. Some kids have strong personalities that make them outspoken and determined in what they want to do later in life, while others may be withdrawn and indecisive. Regardless of the talents and personal traits they manifest, their skills as fully functional adults can be greatly improved if they can find an additional occupation to list on their application.

A job can help teenagers better develop their identities, as they learn what they are good at as well as what they don’t like doing. While schools provide a background for languages, mathematics and other specific subjects like history or politics, having a part-time job might inspire qualities such as empathy, precision, discipline or organizational skills that better adapt the child to both real life and future career situations.

Gaining Autonomy

Earning your own money with a part-time job is probably the best experience for a young person trying to gain independence and autonomy. Being able to pay for car expenses and clothing, or starting to save for college or different hobbies, will give your adolescent child, a much-deserved confidence in himself/herself.

For high-schoolers, starting to achieve new accomplishments other than being (good) students, helping out and participating in living expenses like groceries and other bills can give them a new sense of purpose and role within the family.

Working for Experience

If you as a parent, fear the possible negative consequences of premature employment for your high-school student, research suggests that students who work only ten hours a week, enjoy the benefits of employment, while those who work more than 20 hours a week are affected by the intensity of the program.

A reasonable working program not only offers a good financial advantage but also focuses your child in the right direction. As with any teenager, the danger of wasting any idle moments with bad habits and with the wrong crowd is enough to make any parent want to know his child is busy in a good way. As long as the intensity and the difficulty of the part-time job don’t overwhelm the young student, getting any working experience during his/her high school years will surely pay off in terms greater than the money itself.

Getting the Right Job

A study from the U.S. Department of Labor showed that about 50% of American teenagers have informal jobs by the age of 12. By the time they graduate high school, 80% will have held a part-time job at some point during the school year. There are many possible part-time jobs for teens, such as babysitting, landscaping, retail, being a lifeguard, and so on. There are countless possibilities to gain some valuable experience that is crucial for a resume and the student’s growth.

In conclusion, if you can overcome your doubts whether this is the right step for your child to take before going off to college, working a reasonable number of hours a week can provide a necessary life lesson in managing time and finances. It can also become a new and challenging responsibility outside his/her regular interests while giving your child a real-world and engaging experience.

Categories: Parenting
About The Author
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Joan Lunden’s in-house research and writing team works with Joan to create content that complements her focuses and the interests of her fans. The team is dedicated to creating a thriving community through content and conversations, and hopes their work, like Joan’s, can make a difference in the lives of her readers everywhere.

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