Chances are, if you’re a teen, the job question is a real one. Maybe you want some extra money or your parents are pressuring you to get one. However, it’s a tough job market for teens and not everyone has the time or ability to work as a teen. So, here we answer the question: should teenagers work?
First, you’ll have to look at your schedule and determine if you have time for a job. Maybe you are active in sports and clubs that take up your time most days and weekends. Or maybe you do absolutely nothing. If you have the time, then a job could be a good way to learn a few skills and make some extra money. But, if you’re already overbooked, then it’s possible a job could mean extra stress that isn’t worth it.
Second, it’s important to determine if you’re able to hold down a job at your age. When asking should teens work, few people take into account that many teens aren’t ready for the pressure a job brings. Working at typical teenage jobs (like fast food) can be very stressful. However, it can also be good to get that kind of experience. Even flipping burgers can teach some lessons. But, if you’re a slow learner or don’t work well under pressure, maybe a job is more trouble than it’s worth (especially if you’ll be let go after a week or two).
Third, you have to figure out if getting a job is worth the money. Most teens will make minimum wage, which is typically six to seven dollars an hour. Gas is around three to four dollars a gallon. That means if you have to drive a long way, a job may barely be worth it. Or, perhaps you’d have to quit a team and getting a sports scholarship is worth more than making a few hundred dollars.
If you can’t decide if you should work, then it’s probably best to get out a sheet of paper and write down the pros and cons of getting a job. For example, the pros may be more money, something to do, and experience for your resume. The cons (or negatives) could be high stress, a long drive to get there, and you’d have to quit the softball team.
In the end, the question should teenagers work will be a personal one. You’ll have to look at the pros and cons and make sure that getting a job at your age is really worth it. The teen job market is very competitive and if you don’t want to work or don’t think you can handle it, it’s probably better to leave that job opening for a teen who can.
Best of luck in making your decision. Whatever you choose, remember that you can always decide to change your mind a few weeks down the line.