A lot of parents want their teens to focus on school work to get into college, but they might be overlooking the advantages of their teens having a job.
A job in high school can be a huge benefit for teenagers, and the skills they learn at work can help them be more successful in college. We’ve compiled the top 6 reasons why your teen will be better off in college if they start working in high school.
1. Improves Applications
The first reason has to do with getting into college with a strong application. Students that take jobs in high school have a more well-rounded application when they apply, potentially helping them get into a better program.
Plus, they can reference their real-world problems and solutions they used at work to write an amazing and unique college application essay. Even if your teen is volunteering instead of working for a paycheck, colleges take note of those students that choose to get involved in the community and develop skills outside of the classroom.
2. Helps Inform Their Major
Job experience in high school can also help teenagers decide what they want to study in school. A significant portion of college students make changes to their major at least once, which isn’t a bad thing, but your teen might have a more firm belief in what they’re studying if they already have job experience in that field.
Even jobs your teen doesn’t love are great experiences because it informs them about career paths that might not be a good investment of their time. Knowing what kind of work they like might help your teen pick more relevant classes and find a subject that they know they will enjoy.
3. Teaches Time Management
Teenagers will be able to navigate college more effectively if they already have experience balancing work with the school. The college will probably require more time management skills from teens, considering they have to budget chores, classes, extracurricular activities, and socializing with less structure than their high school provided and less involvement from parents to give them reminders.
Knowing how to handle a full day of classes on top of an after-school job in high school will teach your teens how to manage all of their responsibilities while their brain is developing. By the time they get to college, they will be able to tackle more ambitious and fun schedules with ease.
4. Builds Financial Independence
Without a high school job, your teen might be missing out on developing their financial literacy, which is critical for college students. College comes with a bunch of new expenses, ranging from school supplies to paying rent. You won’t always be there to float your teen’s bills, so it’s better that they learn the importance of having an income and making wise spending choices early on.
Teens in college might feel lost and unhappy if they suddenly run out of savings and need to ask Mom and Dad to bail them out. A job in high school can help them build their savings in addition to teaching valuable money management skills.
5. Opens Doors for College Jobs
To keep up with the cost of college life, your teen will probably look for opportunities to work and make money, which is easier when they already have work experience.
Their high school job will teach them how to build and update a resume that they can use to beat out the competition from other college students to get valuable part-time jobs in school. They can also use their experience to get jobs on campus and be an active part of the campus community.
6. Grows Professional Skills
In addition to an improved resume, your teen will also learn skills like how to talk to professionals and act like a respectful job candidate. These skills are very useful when your teen needs to meet with professors to discuss class assignment, or to meet with administrators about classes and other parts of school life.
It also comes in handy when your teen is in a school organization or club as their experience will help them become an effective leader and help their club meet their goals. Finally, when it comes to applying to jobs after school, your teen will know how to talk to a potential employer and come off as a great, experienced candidate.
Try Helping Your Teen Find a Job Soon
There are clear benefits that your teen can gain from having a job while in high school. We strongly recommend that you help your teen get started by showing them the ropes of how to make a resume and how to find a fun job. If your teen is defiant about getting a job, check out these tips. Once you get them started, you can sit back and watch them learn valuable life lessons on top of some extra spending money.
Now hiring sign. Credit: Unsplash
How a High School Job Helps Your Teen in College
A job in high school can be a huge benefit for teenagers, and the skills they learn at work can help them be more successful in college.
Author Bio: Andy Earle is a researcher who studies parent-teen communication and adolescent risk behaviors. He is the co-founder of talkingtoteens.com and host of the Talking to Teens podcast, a free weekly talk show for parents of teenagers.