Should You get a job While in High School?

Pros and cons of being employed as a teen.

Many teens across the country have a job while in high school. According to Walden University, about 30% have a job during a portion of their high school career. Having a job can be both beneficial and damaging to a student’s schooling, social life, and mental health. 

The many benefits of having a job in high school vary. By having a job, you can gain experience and learn what it is like to be an employee, which gives you experience that can be useful in the long run. You can also learn the value of money and budgeting. Getting paid for your time shows you just how important it is to save money. It is the first time high schoolers get a chance to earn their own money and manage it as well. Having a job can also help you gain confidence. When you are working and start to learn and do better, your confidence will increase with your added skills. 

While there are many benefits of having a job, there could also be disadvantages. Having a job could possibly get in the way of your schooling and grades. Depending on the job, you could be working anywhere from 10 to 20 hours a week (2 to 5 days a week). This doesn’t leave you with a lot of time to get homework done or study, especially if you have extracurriculars like sports or clubs. This time spent at work can also leave you with less time for a social life. All this time management can cause a high schooler a lot of stress, which can lead to poor mental health and a lack of motivation if not managed correctly. 

From personal experience as a high schooler who has had a job for 1.5 years and participates in a sport and after-school activities, I suggest you limit your workload. Working while in school is a lot. I make sure that it is clear to my boss that I can only work 2-3 days a week. I am also sure to communicate with my coach and teachers when I am struggling with my mental health and need a break sometimes. Working while in high school is not essential, but can be a nice way for teens to earn money: just be sure to not overload your schedule and take time for yourself.

Photo courtesy of Resilient Educator