Having A Part-Time Job In High School Can Help With Career Prep
By Darius Harris, Stride Career Prep Success Coach
Many high school students want a part-time job but are unsure if they will be able to balance it with their school obligations. After all, being a full-time student comes with the responsibility of studying for exams, reading course materials, and attending classes. I’ve been there before, so I understand the pressure. In high school, I often worked 30-40 hours a week at a job, while still maintaining a great GPA in school. You can manage both successfully, if there are things in place to keep you on track. And, the experience from working a part-time job while still in high school will create self-awareness that’s priceless and enduring.
Here are some of my top tips for students who want to engage in career prep by having a part-time job, while still in high school…
Identify when you are most productive during the day, and schedule schoolwork for that time
Everyone has a natural time of day when they are motivated to work and get things done. This is the time of day when you have the most energy at your disposal. Do you naturally wake up early, or do you like to sleep in a bit and stay up late? Depending on your answer to this question, you can aim to get most of your schoolwork done during these key hours. If you are a person who likes to work early, then be sure to wake up a bit earlier to get some things done. If you work best at night, then, by all means, work on things at night. Devoting an extra thirty minutes to an hour to get things done during your most productive time of day will go a long way towards helping you stay on track in school.
Build a job schedule for weekends and afternoons only
If you prefer to get all your schoolwork done during the day, and not have any distractions related to work, you can choose to build a schedule at your job where you only work on weekends and/or in the afternoons. We know you have a life outside of work and school, and you likely also value having time to hang out with family and friends. However, you can work a few weekends a month as a base for career prep and experience, and you can work half-shifts of four hours maximum. That way you achieve personal balance.
Stick to a schedule and use tools to keep you on track for school and career prep
In order to successfully work a part-time job while in school, there must be some organization and planning involved. Set some boundaries at work about the number of hours you are available per week, and also set boundaries for when you would like to work during your days on schedule, so you have plenty of time for school. Most companies will be okay with you only working a few hours a day, since they know school is your current priority. Utilize tools like planners and scheduling apps on your phone to organize your day, plan for study time, and to get your assignments done. If you are not organized, working a job can become a negative distraction for your schoolwork.
The lessons you learn about yourself while working a part-time job in high school will stay with you forever. Actual work experience is an excellent step in overall career prep. You learn the types of environments that work best for you (fast-paced, moderate paced, etc.), the level of involvement you like to work in teams, the types of people you work best with, key skills you need to improve, and the strengths you already possess. However, as mentioned above, if you are not organized, it can have a negative impact on your academics. Self-awareness is key in knowing if you are organized and motivated enough to take on a part-time job. If you are already struggling with completing assignments, then taking on a job might not be the right decision at this time. Be sure to work with your parents and a Success Coach to put together a plan for a part-time job while in high school.
If you are uncertain about future career choices and feel like you need help in Finding Your Path, then career success coaching may be for you!
Also, be sure to check out A Coach’s Reflection Exercise For Taking Stock Of 2021.
And, to learn more about Stride Career Prep Success Coaching for teens and what it offers, be sure to visit this site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html