Working Teens

I’ve debated with colleagues if teenagers should hold a part-time job. There are two camps to this discussion: Those who think strict focus on school work is most important. And those who want their kids to develop a work ethic. I’m clearly in the camp teenagers should hold down a part-time job.

There are the obvious reason part-time work is healthy for kids.

  • extra income,
  • learning responsibility,
  • saving for university / college,
  • learning to balance their expenses with income / savings goals.

Most importantly it prepares them to be full time employees when they finish schooling. I worked with a friend who had two daughters how never worked through high school nor university. Both were very smart. They received good grades, graduating from a good university with useful degrees. One in Microbiology. The other, Accounting.

The trouble was 3 and 5 years after graduation, neither of them was working in their field. In fact, neither of them was working. They found themselves too shy to aggressively look for work.

Canada is a country that offers great opportunities for those who want to work hard to get ahead. It is also a country that offers a comfortable safety net for those who don’t succeed. I’ve tried to set my kids up with the mindset to go after the best that our economy has to offer. Part of that starts with holding down a part-time job. Become a functioning member of the economy early on and learn the satisfaction of self achievement.

There is an abundance of local employers who would love to hire responsible, clean, smart teenagers.

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