From money management to studying skills, college requires a diverse set of skill sets. Just getting good grades in high school won’t effectively train a student for the demands of university life. Balancing a social life, academics, household chores and a job will:
1. Encourage Exploration
Teens who work during high school — at the city swimming pool, mayor’s office or local fast food restaurant — will gain valuable insight about themselves, their working habits and career aspirations. Their career choice may change, but it’s what they learn that’ll prove useful in college. Part-time work can help a teen discover and develop his or her natural traits. By the time they get to college, working teens will already be experienced and ready to make decisions about classes, majors and career choices.
2. Help Build a Resume
Some teen job seekers aren’t sure what a resume is, don’t think they need a resume, or aren’t sure what to include. Even though a resume isn’t normally required for teen jobs, a resume can bolster the chances of getting hired. Plus, the work experience a teen receives during a summer job will help bolster their high school resume.
3. Develop Independence
If handled properly, this can provide teens with a great opportunity to mature and find their independence. As parents, we often try to micromanage our kids’ lives as a way to lead them down the right path. Let them make some of their own life decisions, even if it means guaranteed bumps in the figurative road of the future. They’ll learn from those mistakes and be grateful you let them.
4. Teach Communication
If you have a sometimes strained relationship with your 15-year-old — and who doesn’t — it can make you wonder how one would handle a working relationship with co-workers or a boss. Conversing regularly with people who aren’t their friends or family members provides a good experience for teens. They learn to communicate with people who don’t already like or know them. It can be rough, but it’s essential. Fast forward to college and your student will need those skills when participating in group projects.
5. Build Confidence
Being aware of one’s natural talents is one thing, but having confidence in one’s ability to try is another. Teens need experience in learning from mistakes. Working part time will undoubtedly present opportunities for this. Teens will learn how to apply criticism and improve, which will help them build confidence as they see a reputation isn’t built on skill alone but also on their ability to try, and try again. College life and all that it includes can sometimes be rough. Your student will need a degree of confidence to succeed; help them build it.
6. Save for College
Working part-time during high school will also give your teen the opportunity to save money for college. This money can be used for purchasing books, travel expenses, living expenses and even tuition, translating into less money to borrow while they are in school.
7. Teach Money Management
When teens begin to earn their very own money, the real lesson begins. As they earn money and subsequently spend it, parents have the opportunity to teach them about responsible money management. Contributing to car expenses and their college fund, creating a budget, and learning just how much things like food and gas cost are all lessons that are possible with a teen’s paycheck.
8. Provide Valuable Work Experience
A college degree is even more valuable when paired with a resume full of experience. Students who are able to work during their high school and college years are able to demonstrate this experience and build valuable entries on their resume. This experience also demonstrates that they are able to successfully balance work and education at the same time.
9. Teach Balance
Although it’s true that holding down a job can interfere with school work and a summer social life, this strain is also an important lesson. Teens who work learn about the struggles of an adult life full of responsibilities and have an opportunity to explore how they will balance all of their commitments as an adult.
10. Provide Networking Opportunities
Every person your student meets on the job is a networking opportunity and a professional contact. In the future, they will need recommendations for college, a job after college, and professional mentoring. These summer jobs can add to your student’s professional network that they can utilize in the future.