Should All High School Students Be Able to Get A Summer Job If They Want One

No one has the “right” to a job in the sense that you cannot go about suing prospective employers for not hiring you. You cannot sue Bill Gates for not making you Microsoft’s chief technical officer, especially when you don’t know the first thing about computers. However, the right to “work” is a universal human right.

High schools students in the US pursue employment for a variety of reasons - money and experience being the top. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2014, 22.3 percent of high school students worked. However, there is a debate whether they should be able to get a summer job if they want one. To answer this question, an in depth understanding of why these students want a summer job in the first place is necessary.

Why Work?

Since most students’ earn to spend or save for college, they also work to help their folks with the bills. However, money isn’t the only motivating factor. Students also learn invaluable skills and lessons, which go a long way in shaping their personalities, future career prospects and world view.

Time Management Skills

Summer vacations don’t exactly mean hanging out with friends all the time. Many High School students take care of their families, elderly relatives, do volunteer work at their local hospital, nursing home or animal rescue shelter. If you as a High School are going to juggle many tasks at one time, you’ll need to manage your time effectively. So, one of the many benefits of seeking a summer job is that it will improve your time management skills and help you appreciate the importance of time. This skill will help you in college, especially when writing research papers, preparing presentations and reading course material.

For some high school students summer vacation isn’t exactly a vacation, because they’ll be taking summer classes for a whole variety of reasons. If you’re attending summer school and working, you’ll probably be going straight to work after school. That means getting home late and then doing your homework. Some students may commit more hours at work than they can actually manage. This could result in bad grades. Experts say students who work more than 15 – 20 hours a week, may see a dip in their grades. They may try to salvage by pulling all nighters, which is not recommended for health reasons or cram. All in all, a summer job teaches you how to strike the right balance between work and study.

Better Preparation for Tomorrow

Managing time effectively is not the only skill high school students learn, there are also people skills. But most importantly, students get a sneak peek into their future careers. For instance, students interested in joining the healthcare industry, may seek summer employment or volunteer work at their local hospitals and clinics. This will give them an introductory view of what it feels like to work in the healthcare industry. Even if a student is doing nothing more than answering telephone calls, photocopying and filing papers or maybe getting coffee, this still gives them an inside view of what healthcare professionals do on a daily basis.

Are you sure that you want to work this summer?

If you as a High School student are convinced that you can manage a summer job, then here’s a helpful tip:

Think outside the box If you see yourself as a future doctor or nurse, hospital isn’t the only place where you can apply for a job. How about becoming a licensed lifeguard? You will learn peoples’ skills and most importantly, life saving skills such as CPR.

Similarly if you are thinking of becoming an early childhood education teacher then consider getting a job of a camp counselor. This will help you develop useful skills and once again give you an early taste of being a childhood education teacher.

Where to Work?

The following is not an exhaustive list of summer job opportunities, however these are the most popularly sought jobs by high school students:

  • Computer Tech Help
  • Pet Care
  • Lifeguard
  • Food Service
  • Camp Counselor
  • Tutor
  • Bike or Small Engine Repair
  • House Sitter
  • Farm Work

In addition to the choices listed above, how about starting your own business? This is not in any way to dissuade students from going to college, but you don’t exactly have to work for someone else during the summer. You can apply your entrepreneurial skills into starting a business. For example, if you’re a good writer, you can find plenty of content writing jobs online – become a freelancer. Or if you wish to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, how about going into event planning? The trick is to find the right marketable skill in you.

High school students thinking of applying for a summer job must understand that it comes with its own set of pros and cons. As a high school student, academics should be your first priority, not money. With the information provided above, hopefully you’d know by now whether summer jobs are for you or not and if you’ve decided to have one, hopefully this write up will help you narrow down your choices.


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