Summer Jobs

Maya Colchamiro, Staff Writer

With summer right around the corner, many teenagers are attempting to find jobs and/or internships. Having a job as a teenager has numerous benefits, the most obvious one being making money. Through having a job, teenagers can learn time and money management, professional skills, and the value of hard work. Senior Anna Clifford says, “I think that having a job in high school has taught me a lot about money and time management, and has definitely made me more responsible as I prepare to go into college.” Similarly, having savings from minimum wage jobs can be extremely helpful in an overwhelming first year of college. Sophomore Ian Naponelli explains, “Having savings can help teens later on in life. Similarly, having previous work experience can be very helpful when applying for a new job, later on in life.” Many jobs require previous work experience, and even if not required, past experience can look great on a resume. Additionally, Junior Tran Dinh says, “I think that having a job allowed me to gain real life experience in the work-force and also skills that I would not learn in the classroom. It is a great opportunity to meet new people and learn how to work in a team environment.” The skills developed in jobs can be applied to many things later on in life, and help teens manage time/money. Having a job as a teenager helps set the platform for individuals to be successful later on in life, as it provides valuable skills, experience, and of course monetary savings. 

The job market can feel very overwhelming to teenagers, as they want to choose the “best” job, and are stressed about which positions could fit them. CNBC explains, “Teens may have hiring success in places like amusement parks, pools, restaurants and summer entertainment venues, as older workers prioritize remote or hybrid roles.” They further explained, “Hospitality and recreation are areas poised to have labor shortages and hiring challenges, which goes particularly for neighborhood parks and pools that may have trouble hiring lifeguards and be forced to reduce their operating hours as they did last year.” Working jobs in the hospitality department also can improve an individual’s customer service and social skills. These jobs are most readily available to teenagers and often require minimal training. Dinh explains “I worked as a cashier/receptionist at a ski lodge where my tasks were to greet people, help get them checked out, restock supplies, clean, etc. This definitely helped me work in a team environment and meet new people.” These skills are crucial to further careers and success in college. The Seattle Times explains,  “‘We see the value the students bring when they bring employment experience from high school,’ Minton said, adding that students with notable work experience from their teen years often come to college with a strong sense of time management, strong verbal communication skills and a good work ethic.” Jobs are important, and creating a professional resume and professional skills are crucial to conquering a post HSP or post-college world.

Finally, many teenagers (especially rising freshmen in college) question if they should acquire a minimum wage job over an unpaid or barely paid internship. Freshman Michael Djang says, “I believe that professional internships are more important and more beneficial than a standard job because they can provide a  better opportunity to establish relationships and gain experience in a field where an individual might be interested in working on later in life.” Djang goes on to explain, “While standard jobs can provide more of a short term benefit (having pocket cash), internships can look better on resumes and provide a more realistic experience for those interested in working office jobs or in higher positions.” Internships can allow an individual to work in an office and dress/act as a professional. Archstone Financial Co. states, “Maybe one of the biggest advantages of offering unpaid internships is that it gives your interns experience in the workplace which is extremely beneficial for college students. This experience allows college students to build their resume before finding a job after graduation. That means that while they might not be getting paid for their work, they can still learn and make themselves a stronger candidate for jobs post-graduation.” On the flip side, unpaid internships can feel very demeaning, as individuals are providing valuable time and work without financial compensation. Similarly, these unpaid internships demonstrate the gap between the rich and poor in America, as a wealthy teen who does not need future savings can accept the position (and therefore be better set up for a post graduation career), whereas a poor teen would have to save up to pay for basic necessities. Columbia University states, “Unpaid internships reinforce obstacles to professional experience and provide yet another unfair advantage to the children of wealthy parents on the road to professional success. I recognize that such advantages will never disappear, and helping one’s child get ahead is part of being a parent — whether you are rich or poor. But that does not mean that large institutions like the government, major corporations and universities need to reinforce these disparities by permitting unpaid internships.” Unpaid internships can have many positives, but also many drawbacks. An individual’s decision in whether or not to partake in an internship is specific to each person.

Ultimately, deciding on a summer job is dependent on an individual’s goals and strengths and weaknesses. Jobs are an important activity for teenagers and can allow for career and personal developments.