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To work or not to work

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The truth is all teenagers want material things, whether it is a whole new branded wardrobe, a sleek i phone, a shiny laptop, the latest music CD, a new glamorous dress for a party or simply money to take their girlfriends out on a date. With today’s peer pressure and cliched atmosphere in schools, the desperation to have things and belong with the crowd is fanatical. The teenagers coming from rich backgrounds get everything they ask for which makes them spoilt and they start taking money for granted. They feel that they can splash money around, buy every single thing that catches their eye and forget that not everything can be bought. Also they feel that they don’t need to work for anything.

Those teenagers who are born into considerably well off families might not splash money around extravagantly but they do get designer jeans and iPhone 5’s. They might have to get good grades or do some chores but there needs just don’t end. And there are those teenagers who come from humble backgrounds. They feel humiliated to wear battered jeans and worn out t-shirts. They feel under confident and somehow stay away from the spotlight.

Unfortunately no amount of inspirational quotes and pep talks help them emerge from their shell. Their lives don’t turn into chick flicks, where the underdog suddenly musters courage and becomes the most liked person in the school. Whether it is good to judge people for their money is a different question, in reality it doesn’t happen. Shunned and bullied, these teenagers lead, sometimes, miserable high school years. The solution to all these problems is a job. It gives children a sense of responsibility and work ethic, it makes them more independent and they feel better about themselves.

This is why it necessary for most high school children to engage in a part time job. Most children take for granted the money their parents provide them and keep on demanding more. Earning their own money makes them realize its true value and they spend money more wisely. According to, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University and author of the book Generation Me, Jean Twenge, “ Compared to previous generations, recent high school graduates are more likely to want lots of money and nice things, but less likely to say they’re willing to work hard to earn them.” This is why working for money and things is vital.

Teenagers appreciate the effort behind earning money and the ease with which it is spent. Teenagers realize that to spend money you need to earn it and it is not as easy as it seems. Often people are against teenagers working because they think it develops extravagant spending habits and makes them materialistic. The truth is, yes, they do earn to spend, but at least they work for the money they earn instead of demanding money from parents for their every little want. Working teenagers might have more money to spend than do their friends, but they have worked hard for it and can spend it. It’s not true that they spend it all, they learn to save up money for college, or for their first car.

They are required to organize the way in which they will spend money and have to be careful. If they get their paycheck for the month, they must manage how much money they can spend per week, how much they have to save and what all they can afford. If they blow up all their money in the first week on shoes they won’t have any left for buying popcorn at the movies. This way they think through every expenditure and manage the money they spend. Part jobs teach high school students how to work hard while balancing and juggling different things in life.

The extra hours they put in make them realize that they need to work to get something and everything in life won’t be handed out to them. It’s true that getting a part time job will make a teenagers life tight and she will need to manage everything carefully. This makes teenagers learn how to fit in everything into their lives. They learn to cope up with studies, extracurricular activities and manage to hold a job at the same time. It makes them master the art of doing everything in life without compromising another. Now parents may worry that this will reduce their time for family gatherings or not give them time to unwind.

However the truth is how many teenagers, whether they have a job or not, spend adequate time with their families. In fact if they don’t have a job they end up partying all the time, getting into trouble, and doing things that are a waste of time. Working is a better utilization of time. Also one of the biggest reasons why parents discourage their children from getting a job is that they feel their grades might suffer. However this is a big misconception.

Teenagers don’t find the time to work by cutting out on study time but by cutting out on watching TV, partying, listening to music, surfing the web, social networking and other stuff which is unimportant. Working gives them a sense of responsibility and instills good work ethics at an early age. They are required to report at a particular time, to follow certain rules and if they don’t follow a certain code of conduct they are fired. This gives them a certain reality check. After all teenagers don’t get fired by their families, and rarely get kicked out of school.

They work outside their comfort zone and get a glimpse of the world outside their sheltered lives. Studies have also shown that having a job in high school means a higher success rate later in life. “ According to a study published by Drexel University’s Center for Labor Markets and Policy, teens who spend some time bagging groceries or cyphoning fries into happy meals have a larger shot at success throughout their career.” Paul Harrington, a Drexel University labor economist and lead author of the study says that work experience in a formal job during high school (from ages 16 to 19) corresponds to a 20 to 25 percent increase in salary for teens almost a decade later. A part time job plays an important role in shaping the personality of a person and according to M. J Alhabeeb, a professor at University of Massachusetts, “ Research has shown time and time again that an economically successful adult life has a lot to do with the patterns people learn early on.

So kids should be exposed to these issues and involved in them practically, with good guidance.” A job develops money and time management, develops a sense of responsibility, gives an experience of the real world and helps teenagers realize the value of money. Harrington says. “ I think there’s a dignity in work, it’s really important for people to understand how they contribute to making an organization function. The way you understand how that works is by doing it.”

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