Ten good reasons for school students to get a part time job

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I was jealous of all of my school friends who got to spend their weekends and school holidays doing fun things, while I slogged it out selling chocolate – and ice cream – at Darrell Lea chocolates here in Melbourne for eight years through high school and university.  I suspect my friends were equally jealous of me who didn’t have to argue with my mother if I wanted a new pair of jeans or the latest CD.

Later, I thought that it wasn’t fair that I had to work all those hours because I was missing out on valuable study time (yeah right, like I was going to study).

It is great that many parents want to and can financially support their children through school and university these days, but it is also worth considering whether children are missing out on some valuable lessons.  With this in mind, I’ve put together a list of ten good reasons to encourage your child to get a part time job.

  1. It goes without saying, that one of the biggest lessons is the value of a dollar!  One tends to be less blasé with money that they earn themselves, compared to handouts from Mum or Dad!
  2. Having your own bank account and having ‘tax affairs’ to deal with, also provides a great opportunity to learn from a very young age about financial management and that there really is a tax man!
  3. It is probably fair to say that many young people these days have quite sheltered lives so jobs, particularly in customer service, are great for dishing a rather large dose of reality. I know I learnt a lot about the real world and how to speak nicely to everyone, with a smile on my face – even when they weren’t being that nice to me.
  4. Yes, cleaning.  I never had to clean at home, but I was expected to make that ice-cream fridge shine every Saturday morning and the floors needed to be dust free.  And one could not do a ‘half-arse’ job either, because the boss tends to be less tolerant than your Mum!
  5. Although cash registers do most of the work for you in modern customer service environments, cashiers still need to take and count back money – a great skill to have.  Likewise, counting stock during stocktakes puts those basic arithmetic skills to practical use.
  6. For most of our careers we will have a boss or bosses. It is a good lesson to learn young in life that this is how it is going to be, and that you’re not going to get far if you don’t do what you are told.
  7. Likewise, it is good to learn when you’re young in life that you do not need to like/love or be friends with your boss. You just need to get the job done in a professional and courteous fashion. You will most likely also learn that everyone talks about their boss and will, at some time or another, have an unkind word to say about them probably behind their back.  As a former boss I always kept this in mind, as it made the little sniggers I heard from time to time far more tolerable!
  8. While there are undoubtedly some jobs where it is acceptable to turn up in your torn up jeans, for the most part this won’t be the norm. Taking a part-time job means that you are going to have to turn up to work attired in a presentable fashion and having had the requisite amount of rest, or ELSE there won’t be any part time job to go to.
  9. In a part time job, students can get their first taste of business and marketing. While it is unlikely that they are going to be expected to do the books or run a marketing campaign, it is an opportunity to look around and consider what is and isn’t working in a business – and maybe even make a suggestion or two to management.
  10. And finally, part time jobs are a great place to get some work experience – and if you have been there long enough – some experience as a leader or manager. It may be that having this experience is what will set a candidate apart when it comes to looking for their first full time role.


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