Teenagers receive approximately ten weeks away from school every summer, leaving the question of how they should fill the time. Students can take an extra class in summer school, volunteer in the community, travel, or get a job. For decades, the summer job was a rite of passage, giving students extra spending money, and sense of adult responsibility.
Today, teenagers have more options on when and where to work, as well as other activities to fill those summer weeks. The following are a few of the benefits teens receive when they work during the summer months.
Learn the Job Application Process
Getting a job is a skill everyone must learn in order to have a successful career. Students no longer walk into an establishment, speak to a manager, and begin work. The last decade has revamped the techniques used to find employment, including entry level jobs. Today, most job searches begin with an online application, changing the resume and application process. Student resumes must pass through electronic screening before a person ever sees it.
The job hunt process also builds presentation and interview skills, which can prepare students for competitive college entrance interviews.
Teenagers get a greater sense of independence when they have employment experience. They must manage their schedule, arrive at work on time, and follow instructions from a boss. These experiences can improve problem-solving and time management skills.
Developing independence will ease the adjustment to college life.
Meet People from Different Backgrounds
Jobs can bring people from diverse backgrounds together. Whether your child works at the local theme park, a summer camp, the mall, or a local fast food restaurant, they will cross paths with a range of different people. These interactions are different than those they find at school. Many times, the will meet others from different socioeconomic backgrounds as well as cultural differences.
Outside employment can teach children to manage relationships with a boss, co-workers, and customers. They learn tolerance for those with different ideas and personalities to reach a common goal. Employers with large hiring needs might employ individuals from all over the world and across generations. International students participating in work exchanges and seniors, delaying retirement, now often fill positions traditionally held by teenagers.
Learning to adapt to the needs of others will help teenagers get along with roommates when they head off to college.
One of the benefits of a job is the established routine that keeps children busy and active. Teenagers are familiar with predictable school routines. Leaving teens with too much time and not enough scheduled activities can lead to boredom.
Learn How to Work Under Pressure
The demands of a job will use different skills than classroom study. Every job has its own challenges and will require following specific procedures and protocols. Learning to adapt to new routines and demands is an excellent skill to learn before entering college. Employees will make mistakes, have to take responsibility for those mistakes and make the appropriate corrections.
Learning to handle adult-like situations will help them perform better when they gain their independence.
A summer job improves the self-discipline required in adulthood. Your teenager will learn to manage their schedule by getting up, dressed, and to work on time. Skills necessary for independent living when they head off to college or work after graduation.
High Schools do not adequately provide students with a financial education. Summer employment opens the door to financial conversations about money. Teens can learn the basic rules on tax withholdings, social security, and Medicare payments. They could begin to operate a checking account, with a debit card and learn budgeting basics. They can also get in the habit of saving a little each paycheck.
After high school, financial obligations begin to transfer to the child. Summer jobs can help make this a smoother transition as they learn money management skills necessary for successful adulthood.
Identify Strengths and Weaknesses
Working with different jobs each summer through high school and college can help teenagers evaluate different career options as they identify their strengths and weaknesses. What working environments do they enjoy the most and which ones make them want to find a different job? Using summer employment to test the waters, can guide their career choice and lead to fulfilling employment opportunities.
Students can learn if they enjoy working independently or in small groups. They can discover natural leadership skills they have not yet uncovered. Summer employment can provide a chance to work in different fields, which can provide useful insights for future studies.
Encourage Strategic Thinking
Learning is a continuous process. Regardless of the job, teenagers can seek to learn new skills and strengthen weaknesses, preparing them for future employment. They will learn to articulate themselves when conflicts arise and how to manage setbacks.
Job training could increase computer skills, customer service, and on the job safety considerations. Different jobs often force students to move out of their comfort zone and adapt to new experiences.
Build a Stronger Resume
Employers look for both education and experience, even among recent high school or college graduates. Summer jobs can provide valuable experiences, which can parlay into useful skills employers seek when hiring. Whether teenagers learn customer service skills or specific technical skills, they can highlight those experiences on their resume to increase the qualifications for the job they want.
Obtaining a summer job has many benefits and can better prepare teenagers for adulthood. Increased technology expands the work options for many teens. They might be able to find employment in areas of interest, rather than a run of the mill summer job. High school summers are a great time to experiment with potential work options that might lead to a meaningful career further down the road.
Teenagers headed for college often focus on academic pursuits to beef up college applications. Summer employment produces a valuable learning environment, which will develop a different set of skills than the classroom environment offers.