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There are an abundance of reasons why having a job is slightly crucial for the average teenager. For one, there’s the need for a source of income to keep up with the average high schooler’s lifestyle—seeing movies with friends, purchasing gas for the car, buying excessive amounts of coffee during midterms and finals, etc. Other than the urge for money is the desire to build one’s resume and try to gain experience in the work field from as young of an age as possible. Finally, there is a tremendous skill set you will learn through working, and there are so many situations that you wouldn’t have exposure to otherwise. With all of these reasons, it’s easy to understand why so many teens are yearning to get employed. However, acquiring a job is only half of the battle… Now you must figure out how to balance one along with school and all of your other activities.

1. Apply to a part-time job.

There is nothing worse than overworking a new job, because just as you are learning the ropes, you may simultaneously begin to feel overwhelmed from the sheer amount of hours you are working. For this reason, it is much better to, if not keep a part-time job, at least start with one. Part time jobs are also a much easier transition into working in general, and will aid your time-management skills; you won’t go from having so much spare time to none at all, and you can ease your way into the workforce with baby steps.

2. Work nighttime hours.

This might only apply if you prefer going to sleep at a late hour, but asking for night shifts as opposed to right after school will allow you to exercise your brain with your academics while you are fresher earlier in the day. Personally, for example, I would be more capable of interacting with customers late at night than completing a calculus set after a long day of school and work. Though jobs aren’t always fun, they are often more enjoyable than homework, and thus doing them when you are perhaps a bit more tired will probably make your life easier all around.

3. Work a job that allows you to complete homework in your down time.

Lots of work places are sensitive to students who are in school, so there is often an opportunity to find a job in which you will be allowed to complete your schoolwork when the establishment is not busy. Though this might only work in some industries, such as food or perhaps retail, it might be worth looking for and inquiring upon prospective employers whether you will be allowed to do your homework if you should have spare time.

Truthfully, this new “obstacle” (as it may seem at first) will likely not pose as much of a problem with allowing you to get your schoolwork done as you may have previously believed. Though this may only apply to myself, I find that I can usually get my work done faster if I have a shorter amount of time to do it. For example, if you know you have work in the evening, you will force yourself to accomplish all of the schoolwork you need to beforehand, as opposed to procrastinating and getting distracted with it as you might’ve done, had you not had another commitment.

However, if having a job during the school year sounds a bit too hectic for you at this point in your high school career, summer jobs are an excellent alternative, and might be all you need to gain work exposure and the money you need to carry you throughout the year. Plus, there’s a whole new array of summer jobs that are available, such as lifeguarding and camp counseling, so maybe one of these will appeal to you more than a year-round job would.

Good luck with your job hunt, and remember that balancing a job now will lead to a balanced bank account down the road!

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