As a mother, we are all worries when it comes to our children’s future. So naturally a career and education are huge parts. But recently, I have been solely thinking if teenagers should have jobs. I remember when I was in my early teens I worked Saturdays at a cafe for £2.20 per hour. At the end of the day, I felt like the richest person on the planet (excuse this, I was young and naive).
Anyway, my best friend did the job with me and when we would get our pay, we would celebrate by going to Top Shop and spoiling ourselves. Good old day, eh? Although I had hobbies which were not compromised. I still played hockey over the weekends.
The second job was basic admin work at a family friend’s garage. Besides the admin, I made litres of tea for everyone. My biggest responsibility at that job was doing audit work. I’ll be honest here- I didn’t understand the nuts and bolts and other car parts so there is a chance the stock count wasn’t accurate. But everything was well organized so all’s well when it ends well.
Before I started at university, I had one more job which I particularly loved more. I was working at a care home and my job was to make tea for everyone after the chef was off-duty. I made friends with a few old people and liked working there more than elsewhere. This job I did 2 evenings a week plus Sunday mornings.
As you can see none of these jobs were similar (except maybe the tea making). I worked with different age group and did different things are that really taught me a lot and I grew socially as well as professionally. It also taught me the value of money and hard work.
But now as my teenage daughter Kim looks forward to her 16th birthday, I keep asking myself if working is going to be good for her. She is currently preparing for her GCSEs and I can see how hard she is working. She loves hockey and plays on the weekends. She has big dream when it comes to hockey and this I am beyond happy about.
Working at this age will teach her good budgeting which is essential for her future. During my time in uni, I never found the need of loans since I lived within my budget. This everyone needs to learn before they move out.
These days we see children living with their parents longer than before. So this makes me unsure of whether she needs to learn this yet. But on the other hand, I want her to learn how hard it is to earn money on your own.
And then there is the question of her social life. She also needs to have fun and make memories with friends. At this specific point in time, her balance between studies, social life and passions is perfect. I feel like a job will disrupt this balance.
Still undecided on the matter but however, please share what is your opinion on the subject and when did you get your first job?