Student Life

The Benefits of Being Employed in High School

Why part time jobs are helpful professionally and personally.

Shreya Thalvayapati, Student Contributor

April 01, 2020

The Benefits of Being Employed in High School
High school students having a part-time job is not unheard of. However, some students hesitate to take another responsibility on top of school and extracurricular obligations. Before you throw away your job application, here are a few professional and personal benefits that part-time employment offers students.

Professional Benefits

1. Job experience will be a valuable addition to your resume. When you list a job experience on your resume, it shows potential employers that you know what you are in for. The reputation of being “experienced” at a particular task or in a certain environment will put you ahead of other applicants.
As a high school student, you may be worried about applying for a part time job because it takes up time that you could be spending on school work, extracurriculars and social obligations. But what many students miss is, having a part time job is an extracurricular and you can list it as such on your college application. If you are able to stick to a part-time job long term, especially while maintaining good grades and being involved in other extracurriculars, it will function as a major application boost. College admission officers will see that you are not afraid to commit to something and that you have extraordinary time management skills to juggle everything, along with a job. 2. Part time jobs will teach you fundamentals that apply at every stage in life. Being employed in any setting, whether it be at a restaurant or a bank, will teach you the structure of a workplace. You will learn how to work under your boss and how to work with your coworkers to create an effective team.
You will learn how to operate in fast-paced environments without getting overwhelmed. You will deal with all kinds of people. If your boss turns out to be short tempered, you will learn to adjust and uphold your responsibilities in order to keep your job. If your coworkers constantly outwork you, it will foster some competition that will teach you to go the extra mile. If you are required to interact with customers that are sometimes frustrated and angry, you will learn to keep calm and get the job done despite the criticism that is thrown your way. 3. You will build relationships that you would otherwise miss out on.
If you show up to your shift on time and consistently give it your all at your job, you will most likely earn the respect of your boss or manager. All employers want to know whether or not a potential employee is easy to work with. Your boss could serve as a future reference for your character and work ethic; this will make you stand out among the other applicants. A good recommendation from a past employer could place you as a finalist, if the job opening is competitive. You will also have the opportunity to form close bonds with your coworkers. If you are working with other students, you may realize that you are really interested in another opportunity that they are pursuing. If you are friendly with them, do not be afraid to reach out and ask if you guys could collaborate on a certain project or opportunity. Networking opportunities like these do not come around too often so make sure to take advantage of them when they show up.

Personal Benefits

1. Your Paycheck Earning a salary (no matter how petite) is the biggest benefit of having any job. For some families, the price of college represents a serious barrier to higher education. High school students can set their salary aside to save for college and lessen this burden. If the cost of college is not a problem, students can also save for things like a car or they could simply enjoy the pleasures of having spending money. Earning money for yourself will teach you valuable lessons on how to manage your finances in the future. You will learn to find a balance between enjoying the fruits of labor without being wasteful with your money. 2. You can take your job as an opportunity to delve into your interests. Everyone has certain interests and hobbies that they find themselves partaking in without being asked to. For instance, if you love to cook, working at a cafe may be a good fit for you. If you are into animals, offer to walk dogs or pet sit some animals while their owners are out. On the other hand, if you feel like you have no particular interests, a part time job may be a great way to find something that you really love to do. 3. You can be your own boss! Working part time does not necessarily have to mean working for someone else. Find the entrepreneur inside of you and start your own business! This can take shape in many different ways. If you find academics to be your strengths, open a tutoring business! If you want to find a way to get your friends involved with you, collaborate in mowing lawns in the summer or shoveling snow in the winter. If you are on social media all the time and know some strategies on how to get a good response, reach out to local businesses and request if you could run their social media pages for them! Whatever it may be, get creative! 4. Your work experience can turn out to be fun! This last one is less of a benefit and more of a tip. Try to identify what (if anything) is stressing you out about your job and do your best to address it. Do not put the pressure on yourself to handle everything in your schedule perfectly (especially right after you land a job). Give yourself the opportunity to make mistakes and get used to your new responsibility. Don’t feel like you are obligated to make your part time job your biggest priority. You know your schedule best, so the trick is to find a job with hours compatible to your prior commitments. Make sure you prioritize your well being before all else! The key to finding the right job is to ensure that the opportunity pushes you out of your comfort zone while not pushing you entirely out of your personal boundaries. For example, if you are a complete introvert and try to avoid interactions as much as possible, it may not be the best idea for you to force yourself to interact with clients and customers for hours on end. Give yourself a chance to grow by trying out new things but ensure that you are not going to be miserable 24/7. Given the plethora of benefits that part-time employment stands to offer, especially for high school students, I hope you will consider finding a job if you have the opportunity and time to do so. It will be a great addition to your resume, lay the foundational skills that are necessary in just about every job, and allow you to meet some really great people. Additionally, you will earn your own paycheck, have the opportunity to get creative, and have fun in the process. Good luck with everything!

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