Many students find themselves in their first jobs in high school. Not only can this be a way to earn money and meet new people, but having a job can actually help prepare you for college. In this section, you'll find some of the reasons to have a job or volunteer position, as well as a few Dos and Don'ts. At the bottom of the page, you'll find TCAN programs and organizations that offer work or volunteer opportunities.
Reasons to Hold a Job in High School
- You'll start earning a paycheck
While you won't be making a ton of money yet, even small amounts can start building up. If you decide to put your money in a bank account, you might also be able to start earning interest. With your money, you can also build your financial knowledge about saving, budgets, and responsibility. Even if your work doesn't pay, similar jobs in the future might, and there are plenty of other benefits to working.
- You'll build work experience
Jobs in the future might list "previous work experience" as a requirement. Why is this? As with many things, being a good employee takes practice and involves knowing what really matters in your employment. Your high school job(s) can be a low-stakes place where you are able to make mistakes, and your boss will probably be more understanding.
- You'll explore your interests
While the job you have in high school might not be the job you'll have after you graduate, it'll help you get an idea of what kinds of things you like. Maybe you want to work outside, interact with kids, or maybe you have a hidden interest in filing paperwork. Your job can help you discover what you like and what you might not.
- You'll meet new people
One of the most fun parts of a job is making new work friends. These might be people you would never interact with otherwise, but getting to work with your favorite coworker can perk up any day. Learning to work with people that you don't get along with is also a habit you'll build. You might not be their best friend, but you can still accomplish a lot together.
- You'll learn new skills
Working and volunteering can help you build important life skills like time management, organization, and confidence. Many job-specific skills, such as cleaning or customer service, will be helpful for a long time after your job.
- You'll gain new perspectives
Having a job exposes you to many new people and new experiences. Diversifying your perspective on life will not only help you interact with other people but can help you discover more about what you are like. If you have a work experience that particularly sticks with you, some people even use the lessons they learn from a job in their college applications.