I was surprised to recently learn that when my oldest son turns 14 in a few months, he can legally get a job. I always thought you had to be 16 to get a job, but 14- and 15-year-olds can work as long as they work no more than three hours a day and 18 hours a week during the school year. They also can’t work past 7:00 p.m. during the school year.
- Jobs can teach teenagers work skills they will need their whole lives, such as how to fill out an application, how to interview well, how to work responsibly, and how to get along with co-workers and superiors
- Jobs can help teens feel more confident and independent
- Jobs help teens develop a sense of responsibility
- Students who work 10 to 15 hours a week during the school year earn higher grades than students who don’t work at all
- Jobs help teens learn to manage their money
- Jobs cab help teens explore potential career paths
- Teens who work more than 13 to 20 hours a week receive lower grades
- Teens who work find it difficult to keep up extracurricular activities and friendships
- Teens who work are more likely to use illegal drugs or alcohol
- Overworked teens sleep and exercise less and spend less time with their families
- Does my teen get out of bed in the morning without prodding?
- Does my teen shower and have good hygiene?
- Does my teen make good choices?
- Does my teen take responsibility for mistakes?
- Does my teen get along with other teens and with adults?
- Does my teen handle criticism?
- Does my teen have good time management skills?
- Extracurricular activities
- Friends and family
- Money (how much your child will need to save versus spending and what expenses he or she will be responsible for)
- School Guidance Counselor. He or she may know about local businesses that hire teens.
- Coaches, teachers, parents, and friends. Let everyone know you are job-hunting – you never know who might have a lead on the perfect job for you.
- Classified ads
- Organizations you have volunteered for. Maybe someday Kegan can parlay his summer volunteer time at the library into a part-time job.
Stacey Schifferdecker is the happy but harried mother of three school-aged children—two boys and a girl. She is also a freelance writer, a Children’s Minister, a PTA volunteer, and a Scout leader. Stacey has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and French and a Master’s degree in English. She has written extensively about parenting and education as well as business, technology, travel, and hobbies.
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