The pros and cons of teenage jobs (plus example jobs)
Updated 26 January 2023
Part-time jobs for teenagers can provide opportunities in new, professional working environments. There are plenty of pros such as gaining responsibility and earning money, but there are also some cons that are important to consider. Understanding what suits each situation is the best way to ascertain whether getting a teenage job is right for you. In this article, we examine some of the pros and cons of teenage jobs, determine the signs that suggest you're ready to take one on and explore what some of those jobs might be.
Pros and cons of teenage jobs
Here are some pros and cons of teenage jobs:
The advantages of having a job as a teenager range from earning money to building key life skills:
The most obvious benefit of a teenage job is the ability to earn money. Having your income offers a tangible reward for hard work and can be useful for a variety of reasons. It might present an opportunity to begin saving or investing. It might even offer an extra paycheck to help a household pay bills or offer financial flexibility.
Learning important skills
Teenagers who take on part-time work often gain excellent time-management skills and become far more organised. They often work in environments where it's essential to communicate and to operate and work as a team. There are opportunities to build foundational skills in a part-time job and they can often stay with you as you move into the adult working world.
Develop a sense of responsibility and build character
Taking on a part-time job as a teenager can help create a sense of responsibility and accountability. It can prove to be a massive benefit in life to have the capacity to take initiative, act independently and stick to commitments. Working in a teenage job might prove to be a useful learning experience that can prepare you for the realities of working life and help you to excel in the future.
Learn valuable financial management skills
Earning a fixed wage presents a chance to understand how to effectively manage your finances. Learning how to determine a budget is a tremendously valuable skill. With this in mind, the professional world can be an excellent place to learn important financial skills from an early age, which can help you save money throughout your professional life.
Gain insight into a future career
A decent job can offer insight into what you might want to do after your education. You may find that you enjoy working with others or you might decide that you want to run your own business. If nothing else, a part-time job introduces you to new experiences and might inspire you to find your lifelong vocation.
Bolster your CV
A part-time job is a fantastic thing to include on a CV when applying for future work or further education. It demonstrates evidence of critical skills. These include collaboration, communication and problem-solving.
Build professional networks
You never know who you might meet in any workplace and the opportunity to network at a very young age has the potential to help with your future career prospects. The colleagues you get to know while working could have a significant impact on your future professional development. It's important to remain polite and maintain excellent relationships with your colleagues and managers as you truly never know where one job might lead you.
Some disadvantages of taking on a teenage job are the ways it impacts stress and education. They include:
Interference with studies
One of the most significant downsides is that it may conflict with academic work. There's the possibility that you might not be able to put as much time into your schoolwork outside of class hours. Undoubtedly, taking on a part-time job is a significant commitment and finding one that ensures you lose out on as little as possible, academically, is important.
Fewer extracurricular opportunities
Having to work a shift has the potential to detract from the extracurricular parts of your life. It can be difficult to manage your time with a part-time job, and opportunities to participate in sports teams, drama productions or volunteering opportunities may be less available to you. If you feel like your childhood is ending too rapidly and you'd rather not give up on any hobbies, then that should factor into your decision to take on a teenage job.
Brings added stress
Working hard or for too many hours can be a massive contributor to high-stress levels. Increased levels of stress from a job could have adverse effects on your health and studies, which could, in turn, harm your employment prospects. Your health is your main priority, and it's important to consider if a teenage job could jeopardise your health.
Not as many job opportunities
There are fewer job opportunities for teens than for those who already have experience. It's important for younger job seekers to be aware of this and be willing to start in an entry-level role. Some of these positions may be less glamorous, and could even mean carrying out some undesirable tasks or for a company that doesn't fit your ideal employer profile. It's important to remember entry-level jobs are an essential part of your professional development and can help you when seeking other opportunities in the future once you've left school.
Signs that you might be ready for a teenage job
Here are a few traits that are commonly found in teenagers who are ready for a part-time job:
You have excellent time management. If you consistently arrive at school or any extracurricular activities on time, manage your time effectively, and proactively stay ahead of your schoolwork, then you're probably ready to tackle the extra responsibility of a part-time job.
You have good communication skills. Taking on part-time work requires the ability to be communicative and assertive when necessary. If you're confident in your ability to convey a message to others and feel you can be direct without being rude, you may be ready for part-time employment.
You are reliable and able to commit to set hours and days. Having a job necessitates that you're responsible and committed. If you struggle to follow through with things in your daily life or to honour your commitments, you may not be ready to take on part-time employment.
You enjoy working in a team. Having a job requires you to understand how to get on with others and to complete tasks that might not be all that desirable. If you thrive in an environment where you work alongside others and you behave suitably in an environment where collaboration is key, then a part-time job might be right for you.
Examples of teenage jobs
Here are a few examples of what type of teenage job you might take on:
National average salary: £12.52 per hour
Primary duties: A common teenage profession is babysitting, which allows teenagers flexibility over when they work. Babysitters are also frequently in high demand, especially those that have a first-aid certification or a DBS certificate. This role offers teens who aspire to go into a career in education a chance to build their ability to help children, especially if they're assisting with homework or planning activities.
National average salary: £21.22 per hour
Primary duties: Tutors are a particular role and often require the student to be efficient in a certain area of study or have a certain skill. Parents typically hire student tutors to help with areas where their student may not be that advanced but also doesn't require a professional or more advanced tutor. As jobs for this role can be obtained via word of mouth and maybe scarce, joining a tutoring agency is also an option to build clientele.
Related: How to become an online tutor
National average salary: £9.33 per hour
Primary duties: Fast-food restaurants are widespread and are always seeking new staff to join their workforce. Responsibilities can include operating and cleaning equipment in a kitchen or taking orders from customers. Depending on the company you work for, being a fast-food attendant can be a fantastic introduction to working for a large company, managing responsibilities, dealing with customers and working as part of a team.
National average salary: £9.31 per hour
Primary duties: Many teenagers enjoy working in retail, and it can be a fantastic way to build a CV. These roles can include marketing, retail planning or fashion design. Although these jobs start at minimum wage, an employee discount is often available. This can prove to be a massive perk for people who shop in the store frequently.
National average salary: £9.67 per hour
Primary duties: Another popular teenage job is working as a waiter at a local restaurant. Waiters take orders and deliver food and are important in guaranteeing that customers are enjoying their dining experience. While the pay might not be particularly desirable, there is the opportunity to collect tips during any shift. This job might also be advantageous for those interested in working in the culinary industry.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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