Teenagers at Work

Is it right for teenagers, still undertaking studies to be expected to hold down a job? Opinion is often divided on this subject, particularly when it comes to parental and teacher’s views.I believe the benefits of a teenager doing a part time job when they are still studying perhaps from the age of 16 years, has many benefits which shouldn’t be overlooked. Teenagers will earn and manage their own money, which hopefully will teach them the value of cash, and the running of a bank account. It will put them into new situations where they will meet and work with people from all walks of life, some they will like and others not – but that is how things are in the real world of work.

Teenagers will feel empowered to make decisions regarding their finances and choice of job, helping them to become independent, reliable and responsible young adults.A teenager can begin to develop their curriculum vitae, detailing their skills and experiences, along with their educational achievements in life, so that when studies are complete they have something valuable to show a future university or potential employer. This is proof that they can learn new skills, can be in new situations and can be reliable and committed. New skills and maturity gained through work can indeed enhance learning at school, resulting in higher grades and more options later in life.However, there are those that believe a child should remain a child for as long as possible, and that includes leaving work to the adults whilst concentrating solely on the studies. Opinion may be that work during teenage years is too much responsibility too young, and that it may lead to stress and too much tiredness to do well at school. It may become hard to complete all homework whilst doing a part time job and the teenager may give up other activities such as sports or socialising to accommodate a job.

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But is this view just holding teenagers back? Is it fair to refuse a teenager a part time job, when all their friends have one and is it damaging the possibility of being accepted into university or full time employment in the future? I think it is.It is different if a teenager “has” to work, perhaps to support unemployed parents. This is too much responsibility on young shoulders.

I think the real questions that parents and teenagers should consider if the teenager wishes to work really are whether the job is safe and suitable, and the hours mean the teenager doesn’t have to radically change their lifestyle to carry it out. In other words a job on a Saturday for a few hours would fit in fine provided the teenager was organised in making sure their home work was completed during week day evenings, still leaving Sundays for sports, friends or relaxation, however a job with more hours taking up both evenings and weekends or night shifts would mean the teenager would not be able to complete home work or socialise.