HS students working during school year?

<p>My DD, a rising HS junior, has been trying to get a summer job with no luck. She has noticed that all the kids with summer jobs are the ones who are just carrying on with their jobs from the school year, and has asked if she can work during the school year too in order to ensure summer employment. I am not really happy about this, because I feel she is already busy enough during after-school hours with homework and extracurriculars. I also will have a problem driving her to work. But we have agreed that once she gets her drivers' license, we will consider the possibility of allowing her to work during the school year.</p>

<p>I am very torn about this. She has no real financial need to work now, but she will need to work the summer prior to going to college (at least if she is to have any spending money in college). I am interested in how other families have dealt with this situation.</p>

<p>I worked during my junior and senior years of high school (about 24hrs/week). It was fine my junior year, but it started to feel busy my senior year (3APs my senior year). I didn't have any ECs though. </p>

<p>Dealing with a busy schedule is an important life skill right? Probably a good time to learn how to do it is in high school.</p>

<p>I'm a mom of a high school senior, who has not truly had a job, or even worked a regular schedule for me in my business, although he's done some internships in a different industry. I'm also an employer of high school students -- as many as 5 or 6 at a time in an independent retail pet shop.</p>

<p>I look for really bright kids that want to work and learn. I will only give them ONE day after school and ONE weekend shift until they show me that they can handle that ... about 10-12 hours a week. They do have to accept both the after school and the weekend hours. We work around clubs and ECs, but not varsity athletics. If they can, I add a second after school day, or possibly a full weekend day.</p>

<p>But it takes so long to get the kids where I want them, that I won't hire someone for just a few months or just for the summer. They earn summer hours by being reliable and learning through the spring.</p>

<p>I think all teens should have some paid employment experience before college. It really helps them mature, in ways that can't be measured. Also, it gives them an avenue of success outside of school and college apps. And working minimum wage is good motivation to go to college or technical training or something after HS.</p>

<p>If our kids are involved in a sport or time-consuming EC, we tell them to consider that activity their 'job' as there aren't enough hours in the day to participate fully in ECs/sports, take their schoolwork seriously AND hold down a job. Something would suffer, and I don't want it to be their grades! Summers are different. They are expected to work during the summer months to earn their spending money. Lots of positive experiences to be gained from the typical high school part-time job!</p>

<p>Both my sons worked year 'round in a local grocery store beginning when they turned sixteen during their soph years of h.s. and contining throughout high sch.<br>
S1 was able to work there on college breaks during fresh. yr. of college and then got a transfer to the store in his college town for his last three years of college.
S1 did not play a sport. He worked many more hours than S2.</p>

<p>S2 played varsity football. The store was very flexible and allowed him to keep his job during football season by working one shift per week (either a Sat. or a Sun).</p>

<p>It was an invaluable experience for both.</p>

<p>Both my kids started working in middle school at seasonal jobs where they were able to have some control over their schedules. They each referee or umpire ball games. On busy weeks, they don't sign up for games; on less busy weeks, they sign up for more work. Ds2 has made as much as $150 in one weekend.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the input. I am completely sold on the value of a job for HS students, and a summer job sounds perfect. The problem is precisely that seasonal work (i.e. summer jobs) seems increasingly hard to come by. I don't know if it's a function of the economy or what. I guess my question should be: is it worth it to allow my DD to drop EC's in order for her to work during the school year for the sake of her developing a work history that will carry over into the summer? She'll have to quit something in order to work during the school year. I don't think she has fully grasped this.</p>

<p>cnp55, I wish we could find an employer like you!</p>

<p>Has your daughter tried putting together a babysitting business for herself? That has worked for my daughter, who had the same problem finding her first job after sophomore year in high school. She babysits for four neighborhood families, makes the local minimum wage, and averages 5 - 10 hours a week all year long. It works because she has a very busy school and EC schedule, and babysitting allows her to say yes or no as she desires. And, according to our GC, colleges find it a worthwhile job.</p>

<p>I think the keys are 1) having a school-time job where the boss is understanding and the hours are flexible enough to allow for the swings in the school calendar, 2) her understanding that this is going to probably mean working on the weekends and during what used to be her vacation time (and also probably missing out on family vacations), and 3) her having reliable transportation. If she can put together all of those elements, then working during school time is definitely doable. </p>

<p>I was a very committed high school student (and by committed I mean over scheduled) but I also had a job that I loved that I was able to do during school. I'd work after school for 3 hours a couple times a week, and then all day Saturday & Sunday (we had short hours on Sunday). My boss was also really great and understanding and would let me move my shifts around when I had something that demanded my attention (I needed to study for finals, or I needed to be at the dress rehearsals of my school play all day, etc.) She was actually like another parent and would tell me all the time that I wouldn't be allowed to work there anymore if she found out that my grades were dropping, or if my parents were unhappy with my school performance in anyway. Also I could study at work if things were slow. </p>

<p>I was very luck with that job, but the key for high school students I think is just to focus on jobs where the hours are flexible, or where you get different shifts each week/month, or better yet where you get to pick your shifts. And also to be very honest with your boss. If you know in advance you're going to need a lot of time off in a certain time of the year, tell them. You don't want to surprise them later and put yourself and them in a bad spot.</p>

<p>D did not have a job in HS. She took a demanding schedule at school and with dancing 3-4 hours a day 6-7 days a week, something had to give and in her case it was getting a job. She did get an internship during her first year of college and just got a summer job, so it didn't seem to hurt in her case.</p>

<p>My dd does babysitting and petsitting. One of her babysitting jobs is on for most weeks as she babysits for one family when the parents go out on date night. THat said, she controls which jobs she takes or refuses so on debate tournament weeks, she is never working. It has been a good fit for her as working 10-20 hours a week was just impossible with her schooling and her ECs.</p>

<p>D1 didn't work while in HS. Her school was known for giving out a lot of homework, between her dancing and ECs, there was no time. There was no financial reason for her to work. In the summer she continued her dancing and various other summer programs, so there was no time for a summer job either.</p>

<p>The summer after her senior year in HS, she got her first job working for some parent from her school. She also taught dance at her studio and tutored kids on the side. When she got to college, without ballet, she had more time to get a part time job working in an office. She's had that job for 3 years.</p>

<p>I would say D1 not having a job in HS didn't hurt her in getting jobs later. I don't think it is necessary to have a job in HS, as long as your daughter is involved with ECs.</p>

<p>My son worked part-time throughout his last two years of high school. He managed to juggle 10 APs during those years, along with lots of ECs. (He also graduated No. 1 in his class) He loved being busy. He became excellent at time management. He also saved enough money to go to three proms and recently, he did a 10-day study abroad -- again, thanks to the money he saved. Sometimes, having a job is good, because it does teach kids how to manage their money and time better.</p>

<p>My S, a rising senior,will start his first job this summer as a jr counselor at the camp he attended previously. They only hired him for 4 weeks, but with football and vacation, 4 weeks is just right. He will also earn a little extra money watching his younger sis. He has tried to get other jobs at places like supermarkets, drugstores, etc to no avail. When he applied to the local CVS last year and never heard back, H made him visit the manager several times,who kept putting S off. At first H just thought S wasn't making enough of an effort. Now we believe the stores tend to hire friends of existing employees first. Who knows. And to be honest, with his school work, sports and EC's he really has very little extra time during the year to work. There is absolutely no way he can work a paid job while playing sports. As some others have said, we have told him school is your job until you graduate. We give him a weekly allowance that covers most of his basic needs, pizza with friends etc.</p>

<p>I know for the camp job S got, he had to apply in Jan. Last year he applied in Feb and all the positions were already filled. Have your daughter check Craigslist to see if anyone needs a summer nanny. Not being able to drive may limit here opportunities there, but it is worth a check.</p>

<p>S1 is a rising senior, who commutes 40 minutes to his private HS and back each day. His extracurriculars include concert band, athletics 3-seasons, and community service. Between the demands of homework, his commute to and from school, civic obligations and athletic commitments 5-6 days/week - there isn't a lot of time left for him to seek employment during the school year. With his rigorous curriculum, I really don't want him working during the school year. </p>

<p>This summer, he's attending several football skills camps/showcases as well as a week-long leadership seminar, making him unavailable for a regularly scheduled job. He has lined up a few project-type manual labor jobs through people he knows (coaches, my friends & relatives) ... as well as on-call work at an area farm, during haying season. It's not regular employment and is really dirty, hard work.... but it is what he could find in this economy, which also supports the demands of his busy summer schedule.</p>

<p>If part time jobs are tight in your geographic area, can your daughter talk to neighbors, teachers, friends from church, etc. to offer herself up for odd jobs - baby sitting, mother's helper, house cleaning, tutoring, giving music lessons... or any other services within her circles of interest or expertise?</p>

<p>Both of my worked through high school. In my mind the best way to do this is to establish with your child what schedule will work for them and for you if you are driving. Then set out to find a job that will work. I am not suggesting you go to the employer and dictate the schedule but for example that you have your child tell the employer I would like to work one day each weekend and am available two other shifts during the week. Come up with the number of hours you think you can handle prior to interviewing and be up front about that.<br>
We have had seasonal jobs here in the past summers but this summer they don't seem to be as available. More adults are working those jobs and the extra hours are going to the year round employees. Employers don't want to train someone who is only going to work the eight weeks or so of summer when other options are out ther</p>

<p>D1 started working summer after freshman year and did keep that job through the school year. She'll be a senior next year and has almost full-time hours this summer. She hopes to earn enough to take a much laxer schedule next year, perhaps just subbing - but believe me, she can pick up a ton of hours doing that. </p>

<p>D2 is a rising freshman. She's been instructed to try everything she wants as a freshman because as a sophomore, she's getting a job. Best know what activities are important enough to keep as she won't be keeping them all.</p>

<p>You've seen the argument for responsibility, etc (and those are great arguments - I guarantee working, especially with the public, teaches lessons no activity is ever going to cover). But I'll add another. Working is a lesson in humility, which is one thing I think most teens need. A former gymnast herself, D1 now coaches gymnastics. She deals with the parents who think their 4 year olds are star athletes. She deals with melt-downs (and believe me, a frustrated 13 yo gymnast can have a gigantic melt-down) without getting sarcastic because if she makes a wrong move, mom is watching through the window and will go right to the owner. She deals with mouthiness because she is the employee and the kids are paying customers. </p>

<p>It is my hope, too, that the kids develop compassion by working with others. Go to an ivy, land a job at the end, and the only experience a kid is likely to have with a whole class of people is through "service" (i.e. charity). I don't like that. Work at a fast food place, a grocery store, a discount store - your kids will learn a great deal about life from the other adults working there. My kids have it much better than I do. When my academic robes come off, my collar is still blue. I know what it's like to qualify for free lunch in high school. I do not want my kids developing a sense of entitlement, and I fear that the "too busy" to work argument creates that.</p>

<p>So, I do believe in the importance of work for high school students. Seasonal or year round probably doesn't matter much, as long as there's an outside employer. If you're having trouble finding something that is merely seasonal, lots of kids manage to work during the school year (many active kids here work at a grocery store that has Sunday shifts) and keep their grades up.</p>

<p>I got a job at Little Caesar's the summer before my senior year. Knowing that I did three sports throughtout the school year, had 4 APs, was a commanding officer in my school's JROTC, and the member of many clubs, I was reluctant to keep it thoughout the school year. My dad convinced me to keep it. I talked to the owners of the restaurant and asked if I could just work weekend hours. They agreed and upped the hours on breaks. I had a great addition to my resume for college as well as a guaranteed summer job once school let out.</p>

<p>It was difficult, but I learned a lot about time management, humility, and the TRUE value of a dollar. I'm glad for the experience.</p>

<p>D2 has done ballet since 5, and piano since 6. She had to drop violin because lack of time. This year, as a sophomore, she decided to go out for track on top of everything else. She had to cut back on ballet, which made her teacher very upset. </p>

<p>This past semester, she had track from 3-5:30, then ballet until 9pm on some nights. She went to meets when she didn't have ballet, and tried to go to as many meets on Sat without getting in trouble with her ballet teacher. Sometimes when I went to pick her up at ballet early, I would see her studying standing up while waiting for her turn to dance. Through all of that, she's never complained about her schedule. During this long weekend, she has locked herself up in her room studying for her finals and SAT IIs. If she does well on her finals, she could end up with best ever semester.</p>

<p>Having a job teaches kids work ethic, time management, learn humility, and value of money. I think in juggling a very rigorous course load and demanding ECs, D2 is learning time management and demonstrating good work ethic. As far as humility, she is getting criticized non stop while being practically naked(wearing leotard) in her ballet class. I don't think the only way to learn value of money is through working at minimum pay jobs.</p>