Many parents and guardians believe that part of your goals when raising a child is to prepare them for their adult life in the real world. During their younger years, you’ve strived to provide them with all their needs and wants in life. Along with that, you’ve also taught them morals and values, so they’ll also live by the same values as they grow older. One of these values you can instill in your child to prepare them for the real world is a solid work ethic. After all, almost everyone in the world is bound to get a job someday for a living.
You may have already taught your children about the importance of work ethic. However, the best way they can learn is to let them experience it: going out there and getting a job. Specific laws about working teenagers may vary in every state. Some may allow 16 years old and above to apply for a job, while others can permit as young as 14 and 15. Either way, as long as it’s legal in your state and your teenager is 100% ready to take on the challenge, then you can allow them to work and get a job.
The Pros and Cons of Working Teenagers
Every teenager will most likely respond differently to this unique challenge coming their way. More importantly, some parents may be skeptical about their children finally going out there to have a brief experience of the real world. To give you a more realistic idea, the following list will show you the pros and cons of teenage jobs. This way, you’ll have an idea of how this can directly affect your teenagers and find out if getting teenage jobs is something they should seriously consider.
- Develop A Sense Of Responsibility
The best part about letting your child apply for one of the jobs for teens is they get to develop a sense of responsibility. Whether their job involves cleaning, serving food, stocking, or interacting with customers, it’ll teach them how to effectively manage their tasks and take responsibility for their roles at work. They can also experience what it’s like to work and collaborate with a team. Learning this type of responsibility and discipline will help them in their future once they get a job after college.
- Part Of Their Professional Experiences
Aside from becoming more responsible, the skills and knowledge they get from their jobs will also serve as part of their professional experiences. Many employers tend to favor students or applicants who have experienced several part-time jobs. It indicates that the person is responsible enough to juggle their studies and work responsibilities at such a young age. Along the way, when your teenage child has gotten used to the feeling of being a worker, they may soon develop their own dreams and plans of what they’d like to become once they’re a full adult.
- Opportunity To Earn Money And Handle Their Own Finances
Applying for part-time jobs or side-hustles is another excellent opportunity for teens to earn their own money. This is important, especially for those who’d like to have the freedom to have money and spend it without being judged or scolded. What’s more, many of these kids may not yet realize how to manage their finances, especially if they grew up getting all the things they ask or demand.
One way to effectively train them about proper money handling is getting a part-time job. Since they’re earning their own money, they’ll realize how to save, budget, and spend it wisely. Allowing your teens to work for a part-time job will teach them money skills that can come in handy in the future. Furthermore, once they experience the hard work it takes to earn every cent, they’ll become more appreciative and diligent in spending their money wisely next time.
- Trains Them With Different Life Skills
Your teen can learn plenty of life skills from getting a job. These life skills can be helpful, especially when they become adults and are about to face the real world independently. Some of these life skills that they can learn from teenage jobs are multitasking, time management, teamwork, customer service, patience, and many more. Letting your teens work and learn these life skills will prepare them for their professional careers and personal life and boost their chances of being successful.
- Potentially Affect Their Studies
At their age, most teens are still in school, keeping up with their projects, assignments, and other extracurricular activities. Although it’s a case-to-case basis, getting a part-time job might affect their studies, especially if they have limited time to study and do their schoolwork. If your teenage child still wishes to apply for a job and you don’t want it to interrupt their studies, you can teach them how to manage their time effectively, balance their tasks, and remind them that studies should come first.
- Less Or No Time To Enjoy Their Youth
Despite the benefits, letting your teens work at a young age might make them think they’re pressured to start acting like adults. They might develop this mindset, especially if they think that you’re forcing them to work against their will. They may also feel like they have no time to enjoy their youth if they are obliged to work than spend time with their friends or do their hobbies.
That’s why it’s crucial to consult your child first and see if they’re ready or open to the idea of getting a job. Remember, they can only enjoy the benefits of getting a part-time job if they’re fully committed and ready to take on the challenge. Otherwise, you can let your child enjoy their teenage years and wait until they’re keen to get a job.
- Can Have Bad Work Hours Or Long-Hour Shifts
Once your child gets a job, there’s a risk that they’ll experience working bad hours or long-hour shifts due to their limited availability. Considering that they’re juggling their school and work, their employer will likely assign them to evening hours or early morning shifts. What’s more, there’s also a tendency that they’ll experience back-to-back shifts. As a result, they may feel tired throughout the day and get limited hours of sleep at night.
Thus, make sure to discuss with your teens the possibility that they may work hours that they wouldn’t prefer. If working bad hours or long shifts don’t appeal to them, you may help them find a part-time job with more flexible working hours, such as freelancing.
- Interfere With Extracurricular Activities
Many kids are inclined to pursue their hobbies and join extracurricular activities. They consider this an opportunity to relax and focus on something unrelated to school or other obligations. However, once your teen gets a job, they may have difficulty keeping up with the extracurricular activities and hobbies they enjoy. Hence, you can talk to your teenage child about this possible change in their routine and see if they’re willing to compromise some of their hobbies for their job.
Better yet, you can also help them find a job that’s closely related to their hobby or passion. For example, suppose your child loves to bake cookies or cupcakes at home or is an active member of the baking club in school. In that case, you can help them find a job in a bakery as this is a great way to develop their passion while earning.
Overall, allowing your teens to get a job positively affects their growth and life. Although there may be cons, they can be resolved with proper planning and decision-making. That said, parents and guardians should be involved in your child’s planning and decision process about getting a teenage job. Your guidance and support will help them find a healthy balance between their work, school, extracurricular activities, and personal life.