Monthly Archives: May 2017

The Value of Part-time Jobs for Teens

IntraLogoTMMany parents today would agree that their teens have a sense of entitlement. With many TV shows glorifying teens that have extravagant lives, parents are inundated with the idea that their teens should be pampered and deserving of the most expensive clothes, cars and the latest and greatest technological gadgets.

The societal pressure on parents today to ensure their teen is keeping up with everyone else’s teen greatly hinders their child’s ability to learn many valuable life lessons, most importantly, working hard for what they want. A part-time job not only imparts this valuable lesson but also helps teens reap the following long-term benefits as well.

Time Management – Balancing school and work teaches teens the importance of prioritizing and managing their time wisely. Learning this early on will greatly help them in a few years when they leave the day-to-day security of home and head off to college. A part-time job also sets them up with the necessary skills to eventually leave the nest completely, branching out into the real world of full-time employment and all the responsibilities of being an independent adult.

Resume Building – Knowing how to fill out a job application and building a resume helps teens get ahead of the crowd. Being able to have a list of work experience goes a long way on a teen’s college application as well as when he or she eventually seeks full-time employment. It shows both prospective colleges and employers that a teen is a motivated, hardworking and well-rounded individual, and sets them apart from other applicants with no work experience/history.

Financial Independence – Many of us remember our first summer job and the sense of pride in earning our first paycheck. There was a feeling of satisfaction when we were able to buy something we wanted with our own hard-earned money. It’s no different for teens today.  Bringing in a paycheck allows teens to learn how to manage money, their money, and rely on themselves and not their parents for certain purchases (parents should discuss the particulars of these purchases with their teens ahead of time…e.g. clothes, gas, car insurance, entertainment, etc.). Learning to manage money is a life skill everyone needs to have, and the earlier, the better.

Learning to Save – Most employers today direct deposit their employees’ pay. So, if your teen hasn’t already done so, it’s time to set up a checking account. This is also a great time to set up savings account for your teen, mandating that a portion of their pay automatically go into savings. This instills the imperative, long-term life skill/behavior of saving.

An Introduction to the Tax Man – A teen’s first experience with the “tax man” comes with their first job. They quickly learn that no matter how old they are or how much they earn, they have money withheld in the form of income taxes. In addition, they will also learn the importance of April 15th, filing their tax return, and mostly likely, the excitement of receiving a tax refund.

Developing Long-term Life Skills – By having a part-time job, a teen quickly learns the importance of teamwork and effective communication skills. These skills are transferrable to almost any career or life experience. In addition, teens learn other critical skills like showing up on time and taking responsibility.

A Hard Work Ethic – Unfortunately, hard work is becoming more undervalued, especially with teens. However, if we want our teens to mature into productive, independent adults, we must teach them that hard work is an admired and respected trait, as well as one that they must possess to survive in the big world.