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What is the best and earliest age I should get a job while still in High school?

I just turned 16 , and I have been looking into what would be important for my future. I realize that it might be difficult to have a job as a sophomore in high school while juggling schoolwork. I'm not entirely sure that this would be the best option.

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Atul’s Answer

I brought up two sons who only took on summer jobs during their high school years. While school was in session, they prioritized excelling in challenging subjects and preparing for their SAT and AP exams.

During the summer, one son, who was involved in Robotics, secured a summer internship with a major government contractor. The other son, a skilled golfer, earned money by working as a caddy. In addition to their full-time summer jobs, both of them also volunteered their time.

Thanks to their hard work and focus during high school, and their decision not to prioritize earning money immediately, they were both offered multiple job opportunities upon graduation from university. These jobs came with a six-figure starting salary, signing bonuses, and stock options.

So, set your priorities straight. It can be beneficial to spend your summer internships assisting underprivileged children, tutoring, or volunteering in communities where help is needed the most.

However, remember to stay focused on your education before thinking about making money, which is something you'll have to do for the rest of your life.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. raymond
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Eric’s Answer

It all really depends on what you think you want to do after high school and your ability to juggle schoolwork and a job.

If you are going to go on to college, keeping good grades is more important than having a job. So if you feel your grades would suffer, than stay focused on your school work. If you can balance both, then having a job as part of your college application can be a plus. It shows your ability to take on the additional load and manage multiple responsibilities. But again... grades 1st, work 2nd and is optional.

If you are skipping college and either going directly into the workforce or going into vocational education, it again depends on what you want to do. If you can find an entry-level job in the field you intend to go into, then going for a job can give you a step up. Getting passing grades is always a requirement, but if going directly into the workforce, you could choose to trade an aspiration for top grades (B+ / A) for good grades (C+ / B) and work experience.

There is no "perfect" path nor is there only one path that works. I think the key is to find balance so you can be successful in school AND in the job if you choose to take one on.

Again, all this is predicated on being in the lucky position that you don't need to support yourself or your family at this time in your life.

If you want to share more information on what you'd like to do after school, I'm sure we can provide more guidance.

Good luck!
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Sharon’s Answer

If your schedule allows for a part-time job, your junior or senior years of high school, typically between the ages of 16-18, are an excellent time to begin. Engaging in part-time work after school or during weekends can help you build essential skills like time management, prioritizing tasks, and teamwork.

If you're heavily involved in extracurricular activities, it might be best to consider working during the summer break. However, if you find you have the time, starting a part-time job during the school year can be beneficial.

As a sophomore, you might want to consider waiting until the summer to start working. In the meantime, explore joining clubs or school organizations. Taking on a leadership role within these groups can also help you develop skills that will be beneficial for your future.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hey there, Ashley!

Deciding when to start working while you're still in high school is a highly personal choice, influenced by a variety of factors such as your unique circumstances, academic load, extracurricular activities, and personal ambitions. There's no one-size-fits-all "best" or "earliest" age to start working, but it's crucial to weigh the potential pros and cons before making your decision.

One of the main advantages of working during high school is the chance to gain valuable work experience. Starting early allows you to build key skills like time management, responsibility, teamwork, and communication. These skills not only boost your employability in the future but also make you a strong candidate for college or scholarship applications.

Having a job during high school can also give you financial freedom and teach you the ropes of money management. It's a great way to learn how to budget, save, and prioritize your spending. Plus, earning your own money can give you a sense of achievement and empower you to make financial decisions.

However, it's equally important to consider the potential downsides. Holding a job while in high school means extra responsibilities and time commitments on top of an already packed schedule. You'll need to juggle work hours with schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and your social life. This can be challenging and might affect your academic focus or full participation in other high school activities.

Before deciding to work during high school, take some time to evaluate your own abilities and priorities. Think about your academic performance, extracurricular activities, personal goals, and overall well-being. Reflect on whether you have the necessary time management skills and a supportive environment to handle the added responsibilities of a job.

If you decide that working in high school is the right move for you, it's a good idea to start with part-time jobs that offer flexible hours. This will help you balance work and school more effectively. Also, consider jobs that match your interests or career aspirations. This can make the job more enjoyable and provide you with relevant experience for your future plans.

In the end, the decision to start working while still in high school should be based on your personal circumstances and aspirations. Be sure to carefully consider the potential benefits and drawbacks before making a decision that suits your personal needs and dreams.

Top 3 Reference Publications Used in Answering this Question:
1. The Balance Careers (www.thebalancecareers.com)
2. U.S. News & World Report (www.usnews.com)
3. Forbes (www.forbes.com)

May God bless you, Ashley!
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Derek’s Answer

Hello Ashley!

It's fantastic to see your proactive mindset, always looking for ways to enhance your skills and experiences. While having a job can indeed provide valuable real-world experience, it's also important to consider the benefits of participating in school extracurricular activities. These can play a significant role in making your college application stand out. If you're truly passionate about working, you might consider finding a job during the summer break. This way, you can dedicate your school year to extracurricular activities, achieving a balance of both work and school experiences.

I trust this advice will guide you well!
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Steven’s Answer

You can definitely work during the summers instead of hanging out. Maybe you can get internships in the field you want to (or think you want to) go into. It's something to look into.

Steven recommends the following next steps:

Research summer internships
Secure a summer position
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