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Extension > Live Healthy, Live Well > The Pros and Cons of Teen Jobs

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Pros and Cons of Teen Jobs

By Jose Lamas, Community Program Associate

As children reach adolescence, many of them start thinking about working and earning their own money. For teenagers, the advantages of working include:
  • Building a sense of responsibility, good work habits, and organizational skills.
  • Developing independent thinking and decision making skills.
  • Saving money for long-term education goals. Gaining references for future jobs. 
On the other hand, there are pitfalls to working that your teenager should avoid including:
  • Working in an unsafe or stressful environment. Teens might not be sufficiently developed physically, intellectually, or emotionally to perform certain tasks. 
  • Working too many hours for their age. Studies have found that teenagers who work more than 20 hours a week are more likely to experience detrimental effects in their school, family, and personal lives.Ÿ
  • Letting the job become a distraction from school and the goal of graduation. This is mostly true for after-school jobs, rather than summer jobs. 
If your teenage child is talking about getting a job, the best thing to do is have a serious conversation with him or her about the advantages and disadvantages of working.

For more tips on talking with your teen about this topic see our I Need to Get a Job web page.

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