Jobs give high school students more than just an income


Photo Courtesy of Amtec Photos from Creative Commons

From social media advertisements to word of mouth, finding a job can be a simple and straightforward process. The experience can improve one’s maturity and communication skills, in order to gain comfortability in future work environments.

By Julia Levi, Assistant Observations Editor

There is no doubt that students at WCHS remain busy both in and out of school. However, what can truly distinguish one student from another is how they spend their time after school. From playing on sports teams to volunteering, the benefits of involving oneself in extracurriculars are endless. One extracurricular that WCHS students should not be leaving out of their schedules is a part-time job.

Although looks can be deceiving, having a part-time job carries a significantly higher value than just a paycheck. Getting employed at some point in high school is an important experience that all students should have before they graduate. A job has the potential to teach students important life lessons surrounding succeeding in work environments and learning the value of a dollar.

Jobs that require little to no prior skills such as working in restaurants, retail, small businesses, babysitting, as well as lifeguarding or working at summer camps during the summer months are fairly easy for WCHS students to obtain. 

Having a job offers opportunities to meet new people, make new friends and build relationships with people in one’s community. Engaging with peers in an environment outside of school can offer ways to expand one’s social circle. 

According to a study by the Brookings Institution, in 1979 nearly 60% of teenagers were employed, while today only 35% of high school students are employed for at least a portion of the year. This number is not high enough; finding a job to commit oneself to for at least a few hours each week is a reasonable and manageable commitment for any student. Learning to balance school and other extracurriculars with a job can serve as a great way to develop good time-management skills: an essential step to adulting and thriving in college.

Having experience with handling a job interview by effectively presenting yourself, finding references and creating a resume will give students a necessary foundation for navigating future jobs. It teaches students the importance of maintaining punctuality and adapting to responsibilities in order to maintain their job. In addition, it can provide people skills in terms of maintaining composure under the pressure of fast-paced environments.

It is undeniable that most high school students rely on their parents and guardians for most of their wants and needs. After completing tasks for a minimum wage job that may be considered boring, unpleasant, or tiring and then receiving a paycheck with tax deductions included, students must make the correspondence between their earnings and the work completed.

Being able to better understand the true value of a dollar can teach the importance of saving and budgeting hard-earned money, instead of blowing it on unnecessary purchases. Gaining early experiences with money management, setting up a checking and savings account and practicing smart saving can serve high school students well in the long run, especially once they graduate.

Although a job can serve as an important tool for a high school student’s self-development, finding balance is even more crucial. Working too many hours can lead to increased stress levels and little to no time for studying or pursuing other hobbies and interests. If having a job interferes too heavily with the important things in one’s life, it may be a wise decision to step back and focus on the more critical obligations.

Overall, having job experience in high school is extremely valuable for WCHS students. It is something that all students should push themselves to attain before they graduate. Working a job allows students to learn more about themselves and can shape any high school student into a better worker, setting them up for success in future endeavors.