The importance of getting a part-time job as a young person
Feb 05 2018
As a young person, it’s easy to put off having a part time job until you really need one. After all, you’ll be working for the rest of your life, won’t you? You may be in high school or university and see it as your last chance to be free of commitment. There are actually a surprising amount of advantages to having a part time job. You may find it is a great opportunity, rather than a drag.
Firstly, the money; need it be mentioned? Why else would you have a part time job?! Earning money at a young age greatly increases your independence. It feels great to be earning your own money! You worked hard for it and now you choose how you spend it. It’s a powerful thing and you’ll find yourself with many more opportunities. Having an income means learning how to manage it, which is a skill you’ll use forever. You might decide to save for something in particular or spend it weekly on things that make you happy.
Having a job will change your view on money. This is especially true if you get little other financial help. Quite often we will let someone buy us something which we wouldn’t buy for ourselves. This is because it isn’t our money and doesn’t matter to us in the same way. It’s only when you are earning for yourself that you realise how long it took for them to earn that money and that you wouldn’t want to waste your hard-earned cash. We learn the value of money. A Subway sandwich goes from being $7 to being half an hours work. You can make your money go as far as you like, depending on what’s important to you and what you enjoy spending your money on.
You may be at a stage in your life where you don’t have many expenses. This could be for a range of reasons, such as living at home instead of in a flat, walking instead of driving, or perhaps you have a student loan. It is much more difficult to save when you don’t have an incentive. Why would you save for the sake of it? If this is you, think about something you’d really like in the future, a house, a car, or a travel fund. It can be as specific as you’d like. If you saved just 15% of what you earned weekly, you’d barely notice the difference in your spending money, but you’d build up a large saving over time. A little bit goes a long way.
Plan for the unexpected. There may be a sudden sale on flights overseas. Or you might suddenly fall sick and be unable to work for a while. If you had put a little aside occasionally, you might have been able to afford it. It never hurts to save some of your income for the unexpected.
There are other advantages, aside from the money. Learning how to manage time is an important skill to have in the real world. It’s likely there will be other commitments in your life such as school, relationships, sports or hobbies. They all need juggling, and working part time is valuable for learning how to manage them. Sometimes we learn this the hard way by committing to too many things and finding that we don’t have time for them all.
Part time jobs are important for building your work experience and skill base. Working at a young age will open doors for you as you spend longer in the workforce. It also means you have a wide range of skills and can adapt these to different jobs by the time you enter full-time work.
Remember that you have to start somewhere! Everyone has been there and can relate to you. Don’t worry if your first job is working in a take-out store. These jobs are fun and will teach you things, whether you think they will or not. You might discover that your calling is bartending! These are the sorts of jobs where you can work your way up to a higher position if you enjoy them.
Give everything a go. This may be one of the only times in your life where you can work a fun job which isn’t necessarily working towards your career. Don’t worry if the job sounds hard or you think you might not be good at it. How will you know unless you try it? If you decide that something isn’t for you, at least you can say you gave it a go.
Regardless of what your first job is, you won’t regret getting one! It will set you up for many things in life - and stop your parents nagging you!