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Should I get a job now when I am in high school or during college?

I want to know whether to get a job right now during high school or during college. college career jobs job high-school colleges

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Ryan’s Answer

It will depend on a few factors. The most important one is based on how your grades stand. While making a few bucks during school is a great way to earn some cash, if it affects your ability to complete your work, then it's probably not worth it. Getting into a better college/program or being able to apply for more lucrative scholarships could mean thousands in increased salary or less interest paid to student loans. These will far outweigh the amount of money earned during a high school or college job.


If your grades are looking pretty good, and you can manage your time, getting a job is a great way to learn a little bit about the careers you might be looking in. If you get a paid internship at a company that you might want to work at later on, it's a great way to gain experience, boost your resume, and get a foot in the door. If you find you don't like the experience or the industry, that will save you lots of money and time later down the line. Also, having some spending cash will allow you to go on a few trips to places you may not get a chance to go to when you're older.


Yup, I'd second Ryan's advice here. I would also add onto it that you should think about why you want to get a job, and make sure that you put together a good reason. Maybe you need money. What do you need it for? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to get that money? Will you sacrifice your free time? Your social time? Just make sure you don't sacrifice your grades. Jared Chung, CareerVillage.org Team BACKER

Thank you Mr. Ryan for responding to my question. I understand that I have to concentrate on my grades in school before I condsider to get a job RS P.

Also thank you Mr. Chung for the advice that I have to figure out why I need the job before I get one.. RS P.

Also that I have to be ready to sacrifice something because of time consumption but not my grades RS P.

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Craig’s Answer

I agree with the previous responders that your focus should be on your school work while in school, but if you can schedule time to work at a job in addition to other extracurricular activities, you may find it rewarding. In addition to learning skills (almost any job can teach customer service skills and other social skills that are useful in future careers), you can make new friends and connections that can serve you well in the future. Most jobs involve collaboration, which is an essential skill for success. You'll also be able to earn job references based on your performance that can help you in your future job search, Best wishes, Craig

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David’s Answer

I would also agree with the previous answers to your very good question RS. Grades have to come first but there is no reason why you cannot get some valuable work experience in both high school and college and still maintain good grades. The discipline and skills you learn while working may be worth the cost of some of your free time. Having to be at work on time each day, learning to work with other people from very different backgrounds than yours, interacting with customers, managing a store's inventory or learning the many varied tasks required to run any successful business are all good and useful skills to acquire. Once you have the background and experience from a high school job, it makes it easier to get work in college to assist in paying your way there while continuing to develop your interpersonal and other work skills. Remember though RS, grades are the top priority. Getting good grades will allow you to attend the better colleges and continue getting the best possible education.

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Yolonda’s Answer

I worked a lot when I was in high school and if I could go back I would definitely have focused more on school. Although I was a good student, I definitely think I could've done better if my priorities were more aligned. For example, I spent the money I made on material things. My best advice to you would be that if you would like to work to save money for college that would be a great idea if it does not interfere with your studies. Or if you have extreme circumstances at home where you may need to provide some funds to contribute to your family. As the previous responders stated, it would be best to know "why" and how beneficial it would be in the long run. Also, even with saving money for college there are other ways to do that such as taking college courses through programs in high school if your town offers it. In NYC there is a program called CollegeNow that offers high school students with college classes at community/4-year colleges for free. Find out if they have programs like these where you could utilize your free time more wisely.

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Simeon’s Answer

It'd be better to get a job during college when you have more control over your schedule. Trying to fit in a job to your evenings and weekends on top of high school classes and homework can be a daunting task. If you are looking to do a job at some point in high school, I'd recommend summer camp working for a couple of reasons. First, it gives you a fun adventures to go on during the summer. Second, you will likely receive certifications for lifeguarding and/or ropes course work that you can use outside of the summer for part time work as your schedule shifts around. Third, you have a great opportunity to get to know the other workers well as you'll be spending most of your time with one another. If you're looking to be successful, any kind of networking will be helpful for you.
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