If you’re in high school, chances are, it’s really hard to be able to find a part-time job. Only a few places hire people under the age of 18, or even if you are 18, it’s hard being considered for a job since you’re still so young an inexperienced. Although, depending on where you live, that factor can change. For example, in cities like Miami, you’re lucky if you get a gig at Claire’s. However, in other places, that may not be the case. Either way, doing some job searches and browsing job opportunities in LinkedIn can take you a long way.
Trying to find and land a job is only the beginning. Working part-time while in school may be difficult, but boy do the benefits speak for themselves.
1. The money (obviously)
Okay, so you’re probably hella’ stressed over homework and tests, but the best stress reliever known to man is making it rain. When you have a part-time job in high school, you get all this money and all the different ways to spend it (Viewer beware: Buyer’s remorse is a real thing, so be careful when maxing out your debit card.)
Although it’s nice to spend all your money on a shopping spree, saving that money for something more important is a better feeling. Imagine driving a car that’s yours, or paying and going through college completely on your own without any help. Jasmine Perez, a senior at University of Miami, has been working since she was in high school. Since then, jasmine has learned that working and earning your own money teaches you responsibility and independency.
“I bought a used car when I was 18, that was my car that I used my own money for,” Jasmine says with pride. “My keys were mine. Nobody could take my car away, because I worked for years to pay for it.”
The ability to buy things yourself will give you a new sense of independence.
2. It teaches you responsibility
When getting a job, your parents are going to expect you to help around the house a bit more. That means paying the five-letter word that everyone fears: BILLS. Worry not, your parents probably won’t make you pay rent or something like that. However, paying for your cell phone or other amenities like your music app subscription or incoming college textbooks and fees may be an option.
Brandon Lee, a student at Nova Southeastern University, also believes that high schoolers should get part-time jobs.
“I grew up in a large family and my parents don’t make a lot, so it was the only way for me to make money for the things I wanted,” Brandon says. “It teaches discipline and allows for younger people to appreciate what it’s like to earn money."
No matter how old you are, making your own money is one of the best feelings in life.
3. Two words: Resume builder
Sure, it may be hard actually finding a job at the time, but once you do, BOOM! Work experience. That is catnip to future employers, especially if they see you worked part-time while still going to school.
It shows responsibility and maturity no matter what age you are. Not only can you say you had experience working, but you can also make some meaningful connections that can later turn into recommendation letters for college or future job opportunities.
LinkedIn is like a professional Facebook. Potential employers can see your profile and look through your work experience and even accomplishments in school. Not only can employers look at your profile, but LinkedIn also matches you with job openings around your area that you’ll be qualified for! If you need any help setting your profile up, or even making your profile more tailored to your individual adroitness.
4. You learn valuable time management skills
You have a final on Monday and you’re working all day on Sunday. What do you do? You barely have enough time to study once you get home from work, and when you do get home you doubt you’ll want to study. All you want to do after a long day is shower and knock out. How could this situation be avoided? Time management, girlfriend.
You need to learn how to schedule and place importance on certain things when you’re working while going to school. In college, this task is much easier because you can choose the amount of course load each semester. But in high school you’re stuck with the same number of classes, and dropping one of them is not an option.
Emily Schmidt, a freshman at Stanford University, recalls her experience while working at Chick-fil-A throughout much of her time in high school. “Some nights, I got very little sleep," Emily says. "But in the long run, it was worth it.” It's all part of the learning experience.
Related: How To Find A Part-time Job
5. It improves your “people skills”
Ah yes, learning how to hate the human race early on. There is nothing worse than having people wait outside the place you’re working at 30 minutes before you guys actually open. THEN they will have the audacity to look at you and tap on their watch. Then when they come in, they make your life a living hell.
Unfortunately, that’s how the world works. You can be confronted with some nasty characters, and facing them head-on at a young age can open your eyes to how the real world will treat you. Of course, not everyone is out to get you, but you can find yourself in messy situations at times; like why you don’t serve crackers and cheese when you work at a jewelry store (True story.).
So sure, you’re going to want to rip your hair out, but I’m not going to be a Debbie Downer. Customer service and interpersonal skills are KEY in finding future jobs. Handling tough situations will help you grow not only in maturity, but help you hone some patience. It’s important to treat every negative situation as a learning experience. You need to make sure you don’t let yourself give up easily just because you had a bad day at work. Days like these will make you a stronger person and a better asset for future employers.
Although high school already has its own set of problems, going through them as well as working part-time will make you a stronger person. However, don’t go crazy about your job. Sure, it’s important to do well, but if you notice your grades are slipping, always remember school comes first. Don’t kill yourself over working yourself and exerting too much energy, you’re going to need your mental health for college.