Should Students Keep Their Summer Jobs When School Starts?

Many high school students spend their summers working part time jobs. These jobs allow them to earn their own money, practice making smart financial choices, and even save for college. With the new school year approaching, however, it is now time for many students to decide whether or not they will keep their summer jobs.

According to the US Department of Labor, more than 80% of high school graduates have held a part-time job. While the average student works 20 hours per week or less, as many as 10% work full time, or the equivalent of 35 or more hours per week. Deciding whether or not to keep a job during the school year is an individual decision for each family that parents and students need to make together. The following guide can help you decide whether or not your child should keep their part time job once the school year starts.

Benefits of keeping a part time job

  • Get valuable work experience which can be used on their resume.
  • Offer financial stability or freedom. Students can continue to practice making smart financial choices as they learn to budget their earnings.
  • Learn time management. This is an important skill that will be extremely worthwhile in college - and beyond - as students have to balance school, work, family, and friends.
  • Create networking opportunities and help influence future career decisions.
  • Provide structure and schedule for after school and weekends. Having a job to go to after school or on the weekends can help keep students out of trouble as they have less free time to engage in risky behaviors.

Downsides of keeping a part time job

  • Less time for academics. Rushing to a job after school means there is less time for homework and studying.
  • Increased stress. Trying to find a balance between work, school, and their social life can put a strain on teens.
  • Potential for less sleep. Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day. With both school and work making demands on their time, students may stay up later in an attempt to get everything done.
  • Inability to participate in clubs or sports. Most clubs, groups, and sports practices meet after school or in the early evening. Often these activities conflict with work schedules, forcing students to choose between their meetings or their job.

Ultimately, deciding whether or not to keep a part time job while school is in session is something that parents and teens need to sit down and discuss as a family. It is important to weigh both the pros and cons before making a decision; as long as they enjoy working and their job does not impact their academic performance, working part time can help boost their resume and provide valuable real world experience.