Should you get a job in high school?

A personal piece explaining why highscholers should get a job.


Gavin Conner, Staff Writer

Walden University estimates that about 30% of high schoolers are employed. It’s easy to see why: work by its very nature teaches workers not only new skills and time management but gives the worker a sense of the real value of money. For example, an employed student learns one shouldn’t spend all their money on clothes and games and candy. Instead, they learn one should save or invest it.  

According to the site e-Scholarships, having a job as a youth will help you have success in long term jobs. About 67.3 percent of students who get into college have been employed in high school. This admissions statistic shows that work can build the skills colleges are looking for, like leadership and responsibility. A college would also just be impressed by the fact you put yourself out and applied for a job.

Of course, many have discovered cons to early employment like increased stress, distractions to studies, and a shortened childhood experience. However, as a proud employee of Culver’s, I’ve learned how to deal with these cons of working and found that many of the warnings I’ve heard about working in high school have been greatly exaggerated. I have worked at Culver’s for almost a year and I’ve found that it has only helped me to become a better person and prepare me for after high school. 

Being employed trains you to take responsibility, learn communication skills, value teamwork, and leadership. For example, by teaching new employees how to work the register at Culver’s, I got a sense of how to be a good leader, how to show others the right way to do things. Also, having the expectations for yourself to show up to work on time, do good work, and to stay on task gives you a sense of responsibility.

Many jobs available to teenagers are in food service and retail and these roles put you in situations where you have to communicate with customers. These interactions with customers inevitably develop communication skills like public speaking or just having the initiative to talk to new people. Further, working as a team will give you a sense of teamwork which will help you in school projects or even in sports. 

Leadership has affected me because I have learned how to lead a group of people and how to interact with certain people. One day, I was working and an elderly customer yelled at me because she felt the prices were too high. I apologized for the inconvenience and helped lower her level of distress. I use these communication skills with difficult people in school and day to day activities. 

The skill that has affected me the most by having a job is money management. Before I joined Culver’s, anytime I would receive money, whether it was birthday, chores, or Christmas money, I would spend it. I would never have a penny in my wallet. Now that I am getting older and have a job, I learned how important savings are. Whether it is because I need to buy food when I’m out, or car payments, or events, I’ve learned to save my money wisely.

The last lesson that having a job has taught me is time management. Having a job and going to school is very time consuming. Learning how to balance school, work, and sports has taught me how to manage my time. Planning time to work, to do homework and have free time lets me get a sense of time management.

Overall, having a job has only benefited me. I have grown more independent and developed skills that will help once I enter the real world and now I suggest getting a job anywhere you can find, including my favorite option: Culver’s.