I started thinking about this blog from my own perspective. Typed up a fabulous post. I checked my spelling and punctuation. Just before hitting submit I stopped and wondered. What if I asked a real live teenager about how they felt their part-time job benefited them? Would they confirm what research shows? And what if I talked to an employer that provides many youth with part-time work experiences? Would they also support the studies on youth and jobs?
So that’s what I did. I realize this maybe isn’t the most scientific way to confirm research, but I still think its valid and maybe somewhere a tad bit reliable.
Insights from youth:
- “I had to learn how to keep a calendar and think ahead. Trying to think about when I may need to ask off for family vacations was a new thing for me. Sometimes I had to learn the hard way.”
- “I learned that sometimes even when you are polite others may not be. I learned to be polite anyway. I think that being able to do that was important as I moved on to college. I didn’t take things as personally because of what I learned at my job.”
- “Having a boss tell you what to do is different than having parents or teachers tell you what to do. I think that was a big adjustment because I learned how people work differently together.”
- “Keep track of your money. Ask your parents to help you put money away to save.”
As I reviewed what we shared during the podcast earlier this month, I found that the students that I talked with confirmed what research shows. Youth learn responsibility, time management, record keeping and social skills from being employed. Maybe I have a career in research after all.
Let us know about what youth in your lives have learned from their jobs. We’d love to hear!