Teens and part time jobs, in my mind it’s a no-brainer. There are so many reasons why I think you should applaud your part-time working teen…. or encourage them to get a casual job if they’ve not yet got one.

But first, let me reminisce. As a teen, I could have been well described as shy and unsure. True story. I still remember the fear I experienced, turning up for the first shift at my after school job. Aged 13 at the suburban supermarket. I was a checkout chick in the days when the tills were push button, clunky and loud… price tags were stuck on precariously and the weekly specials were published in the local newspaper and we were tested to ensure we’d learnt them by heart. Yep, the good old days!

Throughout my time at high school and then at college I paid my way with coin earned through a variety of jobs. By the time I’d graduated as a teacher, I’d already experienced employment as a bakery hand, a functions waitress (not a very good one at that!), a jewellery store attendant, a convenience store cashier and a baby sitter.

Both my teenaged boys work and have done since they’ve been legally able. I’d say both are well rounded, they still enjoy other activities and maintain successful grades. I’ve many reasons for believing that teens and part time jobs are a great fit, let’s explore a few…

Teens who have part time jobs learn…

  • to be punctual and on time for shifts
  • the value of a dollar and how money earned the hard way is not as easily frittered away
  • the responsibility that comes with someone relying on them
  • time management skills required to successfully juggle work, study and other commitments
  • to appreciate leisure time and be less likely to waste it
  • to understand the relationship between effort and reward
  • to interact with others in a range of contexts (especially customers and clients)
  • problem-solving in real life situations
  • the importance of time and place and that sometimes you just need to say nothing
  • to take directions…. and follow them
  • to wear a uniform or appropriate clothing neatly and with pride
  • job specific skills they may never have otherwise been exposed to
  • about vocations they may have a life long passion for or a desire not to pursue

There’s more than enough positives there for me to recommend all teens work a part time job… but as with everything in life, balance is essential. School results, health and fitness are a couple of areas that can suffer if too much emphasis is placed upon work but for most adolescents having to prioritise and “fit it all in” is one of the best life lessons they’ll learn.

If your teen is interested in a part time job, and you’re all for it… here are some job hunting ideas for teens looking to earn some pocket money and gain some life experience.

Did you work part time as a teen? Do your kids?


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