This summer, while all of your friends were on vacation or going to work outs every morning, did you find yourself having very little to do? If you told your parents this they might have suggested a number of things, such as join a new extracurricular activity or get a summer job. Usually a teenager’s initial thought when told to get a job is negative, and there could be several reasons for the negative thoughts, such as they think it will be boring, they envision it to be difficult and back breaking work, or they think they are going to have to work a nine to five work day and they won’t ever have any free time. But the truth is, all of those reasons are incorrect. Teenagers acquire a great number of skills from working during the summer or during school. Having a job teaches young people to be more responsible, manage time wisely, and become more independent and self-reliant. It also teaches them how to manage finances, instills a good work ethic, helps a teenager learn about themselves, and it gives them references when job hunting once they graduate high school.
The summer after my freshman year of high school I found myself very bored early into the summer, so my grandmother suggested going work at the small book store I spent many of my days at. I had noticed the help wanted sign in their window several times when I visited, but I never really gave much thought into. So I scheduled an interview with the owner just to talk about what was expected and how a normal day goes. My main concerns were that I was going to have to wake up early in the mornings, which I didn’t want to do, and having to be there every day and not being able to make plans with friends or family; however the employer explained to me that because I was a teenager they were much more flexible with the hours I would work. He told me that I could pretty much make my own schedule to follow as long as I got the work that was needed done. When I was making my schedule I realized that I now had to manage my time between work and free time. It made me take things into consideration I never had thought about before, such as if I worked to a certain time one day would that still give me time to do other things afterwards? Once my schedule was made I had to plan events around it giving myself enough time to get ready plus the travel time, this made me much more aware of how important managing my time was.
Having a job can teach young adults how to be more responsible, at least that’s what it did for me! I gained this important trait by having to be reliable and show up on time and by having to be self-motivated to do certain tasks that need to be done daily. I couldn’t rely on others to tell me what to do at work; it was necessary to be responsible enough to know what needs to be done and how to do it correctly and time-efficiently. An employer won’t keep a worker who isn’t responsible because they won’t feel like they can trust him or her. One day of my first summer working my employer told me that he believed I was responsible enough to watch over the store while he went run errands. This showed me that he trusted me and thought I was responsible enough to handle the phones, customers, money, and merchandise while she was away. If an employer does not have that trust they won’t keep you hired because they will not think you can fulfill any of your duties that you have by working there; just like in other aspects of life, if people do not trust your responsibility they will not let you handle certain things. A lack of responsibility in a career later in life will cause you to not be able to move up in positions.
I learned that when you make your own money you are more likely to think more about financial decisions than if you were spending someone else’s money. People, especially young people like myself, have a tendency to not pay attention or track their finances but when you are actually working for your own money you start