Why You Should Get Going on That Résumé

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While it may be nice to have mom and dad to depend on for all your financial needs, there comes a time when they won’t always be around to pamper you with monetary provisions. Part of growing up is establishing independence. One way to establish that independence is to financially support yourself by finding a job.

While job searching may be a daunting task for high school students, the numerous benefits makes it worthwhile. One of these benefits is the development of time-management skills.  Between homework and extracurriculars, having a job not only forces a student to juggle multiple responsibilities, but, according to Caitrin Blake of Concordia University, it also helps “students prepare for the academic vigor of college.”

The development of time-management skills is arguably one of the most important skills needed in the transition from high school to college and even into future careers.

According to College Board, students with jobs also tend to have greater confidence and satisfaction. When a student occupies themselves with a job, they acquire a sense of accomplishment and productivity.  This confidence and satisfaction can translate into increased academic success.

However, student employment doesn’t just benefit the student. One significant advantage of student employment is that it allows parents to rejoice and remove a financial burden from their shoulders.  According to the Huffington Post, in 2013, on average,  it cost parents a whopping $245,340 to raise a child until the age of 18. This is already an overwhelming figure that won’t be getting cheaper anytime soon. Having a job allows students to give their parents the break they deserve.

Despite these benefits, many parents still forbid their children from having a job. According to College Board, some parents argue that going to school is a full time job and having a job will only distract them from their school work.

While it might be true for some students that employment leads to decreased student success, this is usually the case only if a student decides to work more than the recommended 15-20 hours per week.

Additionally, many part time jobs offer very flexible scheduling. Oftentimes, students can craft their schedule in such a way that allows them to balance work and school.

Another concern of student employment seems to be the social aspect. Parents worry that students having a job may limit their social opportunities.  In reality, parents have nothing to worry about: having a job has the complete opposite effect. A job actually enhances a student’s social opportunity and opens up a whole new window of opportunities that may not be within reach of high school students.

Having a job allows the student to fully immerse themselves in a unique environment. Work environments are often full of individuals of different religions, nationalities, and beliefs. It is essential that a student exposes themselves to these differences in society.  Exposure to these differences earlier on will help negate the culture shock college students often experience their freshman year.

According to Glenbard West’s Job Coordinator, Patricia Denney, a job allows students to learn imperative skills needed in the real world, such as teamwork or dealing with people who have different personalities.   Denney feels that a job forces students to deal with people who are different. Whether they come from a different background or practice a different religion, a job can help students understand the idea that, “there are many different types of people in the world and in a job, you really have to learn to get along with them.”

In the end, whether or not a high school student should have a job is up to the student and the student’s parents. However, students and parents should take the plethora of benefits into consideration.

From learning how to manage time, to strengthening social opportunities, student employment is not something to shy away from.
For students or parents still skeptical of the idea, Patricia Denney admits that although students may get a taste of these experiences in school, “There’s nothing like real job to test the world out and learn what it takes to navigate that.”  

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