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The Pros & Cons of Working During High School

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Think back to the olden days, when you, as a parent, were in high school. Working during high school used to be the norm. You worked–part-time, of course–at the local ice cream shop, helping with roofing or working as a cashier. While your job took some time away from friends after-school, it didn’t overwhelm your entire life.

With many changes to the structure and demands of modern high school, working part-time may seem out of reach or overwhelming. Teens may opt out of working while in high school because their schedules are already overflowing. Between sports practices and long hours studying, there might not be much time left to get a part-time job. 

On the other hand, teens might feel they need to support their family by working or getting a jump start on their future.

While there are potential perks and advantages to working while in high school, research shows there are genuine drawbacks and concerns. Understandably, an after-school job isn’t going to work for all teens. If you’re thinking of allowing your teen to enter the workforce, consider the potential risks and benefits.

high school student working part time

The Pros of a Working During High School

An after-school job can be highly beneficial for a teenager. Here are some of the benefits your teen may experience:

  1. Advance work skills. After-school jobs help your teenager gain basic, necessary work skills such as searching for a job, completing an application, performing in an interview, and how to conduct oneself in the workplace.
  2. Avoid trouble. If your teen heads straight from school to a job, it shortens the amount of free time she has to engage in risky behaviors. She’ll be less likely to be bored when a job keeps her busy. Financial Skills: With support from you, a paycheck can be an opportunity for your teen to learn how to manage finances effectively
  3. . Teach your teen to establish a budget so they can practice saving for big-ticket items. 
  4. Gain life skills. A job will help your teen develop confidence,  a sense of responsibility, and the ability to work with many types of people. They will also develop soft skills essential for their future career.
  5. Gain a better understanding of careers available. A good job can give your teen valuable insight into what she may want to do after high school. Theye may discover their enjoyment of working with people, or decide that they want to own a business. If nothing else, a part-time job gives your teen valuable work experience that they can list on future job applications.

The Cons of a Working During High School

There are definite risks teens face when becoming employed. Here are a few of the biggest cons of working after school: 

  1. Reduced amount of time to study, do homework or participate in extracurriculars. Research shows that students who work more than 20 hours a week have lower GPAs than students who work less than 10 hours a week. 
  2. Lose opportunities due to time constraints. It could be challenging to participate in the average “high school experience” such as a sports team, theater, choir, clubs, or volunteer work.
  3. Result in extra, unnecessary stress. Work can cause stress. While a job can produce many positive benefits, the burden of time constraints and expectations can prove to be too much to handle.
  4. Risk an increased chance of substance abuse.  Extra spending money, increased stress, and poor mental health can cause teens to turn to substances like drugs and alcohol.
high school student working at coffee shop

Help Them Make a Wise Decision

Deciding whether to let your teen get a job isn’t a decision you should make lightly. If you’re on the fence, encourage your teen to start with a summer job, or encourage them to keep the hours to a minimum. 
If you are looking for a school program that allows your teen to both work and succeed in school, contact us at Fairborn Digital Academy.

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