Part-Time Employment in High School
The school year is winding down and summer is fast approaching. It's not too early to consider what you and your teens will be doing to occupy your time after the school books are tucked away. If you feel in need of a refresher course before the next school year begins, why not plan to join us for one or both of the HSLDA High School Teacher Training sessions in June and July. You can register for these dates on our website.
Your teens, on the other hand, may be planning to earn some income through summer jobs. Since jobs may not be abundant this year, it's important to begin the search now.
In preparation for job interviews, your teen should work on updating his resume and gathering some references to include on it. Be sure your teen knows that it's important to receive permission from his references before listing their names on his resume. On the HSLDA high school website, you can find resources to help create a current resume format.
"But wait!" you're saying. "Why should my teen work this summer when there are so many other enrichment opportunities knocking at the door?" We're certainly not advocating that every teen should work this summer; however, we wish to submit to you some of the benefits of holding a job during high school.
Earning money is an obvious benefit for the teen to work. The
satisfaction of receiving a paycheck is an opportunity for parents to
discuss with the teen the wise use of his or her earnings. If you are
a plan-ahead parent and your teen is not old enough to hold a job yet,
then a financial management course could be a good elective in
preparation for holding a job.
In either case, consider assisting your teen in setting up a budget for the monies he earns. (Free budget worksheets can be found on the internet.) It won't take long for them to realize that a fixed amount of money sets limits on spending habits. The importance of living within their means is of great importance to learn and practice during high school.
Will your teens be required to save a portion of their earnings? Prudence, thrift and self-control are some benefits of saving for the long term. There is truth in the idea that delayed gratification brings greater enjoyment and appreciation of the treasure sought. Assure your teens that paying as they go will give them much more flexibility when looking at job offers in the future than if they are encumbered with debt.
The Bible teaches that blessings come when we return a portion of what we earn to the Lord. Tithing habits formed when young often continue into adulthood. In addition, giving to others often creates generous and cheerful hearts.
Post High School Benefits
Gainful employment during high school will show initiative on the part of the teen when she is submitting applications to post high school institutions or to employers. Creating a resume, knocking on doors, and interviewing for jobs is hard work that can be discouraging. To continue in the face of adversity and then landing that job takes persistence, a quality that is admired.
Some jobs may provide an opportunity for your teen to take on leadership either in managing a small shop when the owner is away or overseeing other employees. If you have an entrepreneur, such initiative will also require leadership qualities to succeed.
Regardless of the position held, there are side benefits to working. Your teen will need to learn and practice time management skills as she juggles her school assignments, home responsibilities, church and social activities alongside of the hours she works. She will be very thankful to have honed such skills for whatever path she travels after high school.
Employment may also provide a source for letters of recommendation. If your teen is college bound, most colleges will request these letters attesting to your teen's character qualities. Other post high school positions and training will also require recommendations from people who know your child well or who have worked with them. If it is appropriate, have your teen ask his employer for such a letter to keep for future use.
Long Term Benefits
Aside from earning money and teaching skills, working part time during high school will foster a work ethic in your child. Work is a gift from the Lord; He instituted it when He created the world. Work is a means the Lord gives us to provide for our needs and enhance our character. Children can be taught to enjoy the labor of their hands receiving satisfaction after a day of toil.
While working at part-time jobs, your teens will have many opportunities to interact with the employer and fellow employees. There will likely be times when friction arises and your teen will need to work out differences of opinion with others. Don't intervene to "fix" the problem for your teen, but see it as a teachable moment for helping your teen to understand all sides of the issue and to be able to suggest a plausible solution to bring about reconciliation. These situations will also teach your teen how to respect authority, make an appeal, and decide when to take an issue to her boss--all part of the maturing process.
Jobs are also a way to try out a possible career and observe the day-to-day operations of a company. If your teen decides this is a direction worth considering, then experience in the field will be helpful when shopping for full-time employment. It will also give the teen the opportunity to begin forming a network of contacts for the
As you have read, part-time employment has many benefits; however, it is of utmost importance not to allow the job to take precedence over the academics, family, and church involvement. A job does not excite an admission counselor as much as good grades nor should it take the place of spending time together as a family or worshipping and fellowshipping with other believers in church. Help your teens to set appropriate boundaries for their time.
Some work environments are just not worth the benefits of the job. If it is a situation where you are concerned with the reputation of the employer, take time to check out the allegations. Or if the hours required fall too late into the evening for your daughter to be out, encourage her to look for a different job. Use wisdom and discernment when giving permission for your teens' job choices.
High school jobs often require work permits by the employer . If you are member of HSLDA and have questions about the information found at the previous link,
please do not hesitate to call our legal department for advice. Our attorneys will be happy to walk you through the process.
Join us next month as we take a close look at the subject of math during the high school years.
Getting back to jobs we love,
Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Consultants
This resource is an article from the Homeschooling Thru Highschool newsletter (5/5/2011), and is provided by the Home School Legal Defense Association as a service to the homeschooling community.