Should Students Get a Job in High School?

Jacob Blauvelt, Reporter

There are many reasons for a teen in high school to get a job. Some teens get jobs to save up for college or fund their own personal expenses. Others work as a major source of their family’s income. Many others try to get a job to gain valuable work experience. However, having a job during school has some major advantages and disadvantages, making sure you can find a balance is crucial.

Having a job during high school comes with many advantages. Teens who work gain very valuable qualities, not just relating to work but about themselves. Teens who work can develop communication and interpersonal skills only achieved by being a part of a professional community. Learning to communicate with a boss about things such as scheduling, compensation, and other concerns. These are difficult to learn outside of a work setting. Of course, working teens also gain important work experience. Building a resume early on can be beneficial over the long-term, as teens who’ve already held a job are more likely to win out over their less experienced peers. In addition, teens who work are more likely to develop time management skills. Balancing a work schedule on top of other commitments like school work or extracurriculars can naturally lead to better organization and necessitate planning ahead. Having a job will help someone learn about finances and money management. By having some income while in high school, students will be able to create a save money, create a budget and even contribute to certain expenses. When purchasing something with your own money, you gain a certain appreciation for these things, which may also lead to more appreciation for your family’s expenses and purchases.

There is no doubt that having a job can be a great benefit as a teen, providing many valuable skills and experiences that are difficult to replicate outside of a job. Still, having a job is not easy, and there are some disadvantages you should consider as well.

Like any other time-consuming commitment, having a job during high school requires serious dedication and is not for everyone. Specifically, having a job can add to your stress. It represents another commitment that demands not just time and planning, but also the ability to thrive in a professional environment. For some teens, this can be especially difficult. In addition, holding down a job during high school can be a distraction for some teens. You might find trouble juggling so many time commitments and that academics unintentionally suffer. A few academic stumbling points while adjusting to the new schedule might be expected, but if you notice your work has become lackluster and your grades are slipping, you might want to reconsider having a job.

Finally, getting a job might mean that you do not have time for the other things that you enjoy doing. In a time where college admissions have become a war zone, having to sacrifice fun hobbies or social time is inevitable. Even without having a job, studying for school can be tough.

I personally have had a great experience working while in high school. My situation was very different from many other students and cannot be expected to work out for everyone. I was fortunate enough to work from home, on my own hours, however often I wanted. Not having the stress of having to show up to work every day, regardless of how you feel and having to put on a fake smile just to get through the day is definitely not appealing. I was able to gain work experience in my free time and earned quite a bit of money doing so.

While getting a job in high school can be a smart choice for some high school students, it isn’t for everyone and it’s not without its drawbacks as well. Before you make the decision, be sure to have gone over both sides thoroughly. Ask yourself, “If I get a job, will I have enough time for my school work?” Making sure you are on top of your school work should be the number one priority. If that is all taken care of, looking for jobs may be a good idea.