Benefits of having a job in high school

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High school comes with trials and tribulations, fees, and life lessons. So what if I told you that there’s a way to combat all of that and take charge of your high school experience? A job is the perfect way to earn money, gain experience in work, connect with others outside of school, and look good on college applications. 

While the idea of working in retail or fast food may not seem appetizing, working at stores you often frequent can get you a discount. For example, when I worked at Chick-fil-A, I was able to get myself, my family, and my friends a 50% discount. This comes in handy, especially for high school students who often eat out. 

Chick-fil-A was also a wonderful place to meet people, as a lot of the employees there are also students at Leesville Road High School. 

For example, Kennedi Ward, a junior and my previous coworker at Chick-fil-A, said, “Working at Chick-fil-A has of course given me more money for what I want and adapted me to work environments, but over everything it has given me life-long connections that can continue to push me. I love all the friends I’ve met there.”

Working in these departments also means gaining beneficial experience. Whether it’s learning how to diffuse a situation or communicate in a professional environment, the jobs I’ve had throughout high school have taught me both. I already know what to expect from a job, how a boss should and should not talk to you or another employee, and how to stand up for yourself in the workplace. 

These experiences can save you from mistakes later in your career, as they teach you responsibility, time management, and effective communication. 

As working means making money, it’s important to work for a wage that satisfies you. Since in the corporate world, people often negotiate their wages, it could be useful to get comfortable doing that now. Make sure before landing a job you ask about the pay and either make sure you’re comfortable with it or explain that you will only work for a certain wage.

Once you have a job with a good wage you can put that money to use. For juniors going into senior year, now is a perfect time to save to help pay for college applications and graduation fees. For students who can drive, using the money to pay for their gas is always appreciated by parents. For all students in general it’s nice to have money to use for hangouts with friends. 

Gaining all of this knowledge, responsibility, and experience can shape you as a person. So it makes sense colleges think highly of working students as it shows you can balance work, school, life, and other extracurricular activities you put on your college application. If you have a job like babysitting, tutoring, or something on par with your character it can also show your personality to a college on an application. 

If you find yourself with extra free time, consider applying for a job so you can benefit.

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