Why Part-Time Work Is the Best Thing for Your Teen (And How to Make It Happen)

young girl holding a colored paper

Ah, the teenage years. The time when kids go from being sweet little angels to surly, eye-rolling monsters who are always glued to their phones. As a parent, it can be hard to navigate these years and figure out how to help your child become a responsible, independent adult. But fear not, because I have a solution: part-time work.

Why Part-Time Work Is the Best Thing for Your Teen (And How to Make It Happen)

That’s right, I’m suggesting you encourage your teenager to get a job. I know what you’re thinking: “But won’t that take away from their schoolwork? Won’t they be too tired to do anything else? Won’t they hate me forever?” Trust me, I get it. But hear me out. Part-time work can actually be incredibly beneficial for older children. Here’s why.

Responsibility and Independence

When they have a job, they have to show up on time, follow directions, and complete tasks. They’ll learn how to manage their time, prioritize their responsibilities, and work with others. All of these skills are essential for success in life, and part-time work can be a great way to develop them.

Valuable Work Experience

When they apply for full-time jobs later in life, they’ll have a leg up on their peers who have never worked before. They’ll have experience dealing with customers, managing money, and working in a team. Plus, they’ll have references and contacts in the workforce, which can be incredibly valuable down the road.

Financial Literacy

Let’s not forget about the money. They’ll learn how to budget their earnings, save for the things they want, and make smart spending decisions. They’ll also start to understand the value of hard work and the importance of earning their own money.

Confidence Boost

When they have a job, they’ll feel like they’re contributing to society and making a difference. They’ll be proud of their accomplishments and the money they’re earning. Plus, they’ll have the satisfaction of knowing they’re gaining new skills and becoming more independent.

Time Management

I know what you’re thinking: “But won’t part-time work take away from my child’s schoolwork?” Actually, no. Part-time work can actually help your child become better at time management. When they have a job, they’ll have to balance their work schedule with their school schedule and other commitments. They’ll learn how to prioritize their time and get things done efficiently. And studies have shown that older children who work part-time actually have higher GPAs than those who don’t work at all.

Finding the Right Job

Now that you’re convinced of the benefits of part-time work for your older child, let’s talk about how to help them find the right job. The first step is to talk to your child about what kind of job they’re interested in. Do they want to work in retail, food service, or something else? Encourage them to think about their skills and interests, and suggest jobs that align with those.

Next, help them create a resume and cover letter. Even if they don’t have any work experience, they can still highlight their skills, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities. There are plenty of online resources that can help with resume and cover letter writing, or you can reach out to your child’s school guidance counsellor for assistance.

Once the resume and cover letter are ready, it’s time to start applying. Your child can check job boards like Indeed, Monster, or Glassdoor, or they can visit local businesses and ask if they’re hiring. Encourage them to be persistent and follow up on their applications.

When your child gets an interview, help them prepare by doing a practice interview. Ask them common interview questions and give them feedback on their answers. Encourage them to dress professionally and arrive early for the interview.

Succeeding in the Workforce

Once your child has landed a job, the work isn’t over. It’s important to help them succeed in the workforce by setting expectations and providing support.

First, set expectations for their work schedule and performance. Make it clear that schoolwork comes first, but that they need to show up on time and do their job to the best of their ability. Encourage them to communicate with their employer if they have any scheduling conflicts or issues.

Next, provide support by helping your child balance their work and school schedules. Make sure they have time to complete their homework and study for exams. Offer to help them practice time management and organizational skills.

Finally, celebrate their successes! When your child accomplishes something at work, whether it’s getting a raise or receiving positive feedback from a customer, make sure to acknowledge their hard work and accomplishments.

Part-time work can be incredibly beneficial for older children. It can help them build responsibility and independence, gain valuable work experience, learn about financial literacy, boost their confidence, improve their time management skills, and more. By helping your child find the right job and supporting them in the workforce, you can help them become successful, independent adults. And who knows, maybe they’ll even start to appreciate you a little more (but don’t hold your breath).

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Josie Smith
Josie Smith
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