Work it

Greta Schaub

According to Walden University, only 30% of high school students have jobs. When I saw this statistic, I was shocked. Ever since I was six or seven years old, I have been planning out where my future self would work. Maybe Starbucks or ooh, PetSmart would be fun. Ten years later, I have had multiple jobs and gotten the opportunity to meet a lot of new people and to save some money. 

One of my first jobs was babysitting. I went to my neighbors’ house and watched their kids with a friend in fifth grade. We made a few bucks and connections to the family. I went on to babysit them for a few years. Six years later, I still babysit and nanny. Not only did this experience help me meet new people, it helped me grow out of my shyness. I walked into their home as a quiet little girl and walked out as a confident leader. 

I can distinctly remember being a freshman in high school and a brand new fourteen year old. I’m young for my grade and struggled to find a consistent job that would hire so young. As much as babysitting was a great start, it was far from a stable income. I downloaded job apps, searched on websites and more. I continued with my occasional babysitting and started a small business selling homemade scrunchies. My experiences desperately searching for a job as a young teenager taught me many things, including patience and motivation. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. It’s always possible to make money, sometimes it just takes more creativity. 

After trying a handful of random jobs and miscellaneous tasks, I finally turned fifteen. This opened up new doors for me: real jobs at real companies! After applying at a few places, I got my first interview. Finally, I got a job. Although it didn’t last forever, working at Culver’s the day I turned sixteen felt like a victory. It provided a somewhat steady income and taught me a new work ethic. I learned customer service and how to work with others. I will always be grateful for my time working at my very first job. 

Working might not seem like it’s the thing for everyone. It may take up too much time or high school may already be busy enough. However, I encourage every single high school student to at least look. To apply, to interview. To work for a few months and see if you can balance it. If working during the school year is just too much, there are also handfuls of great summer jobs. Whether it’s year round or just summer, having a job, especially as a teenager, teaches critical skills like time management and hard work. Having a job, even amidst the homework and after school activities, is one of the best things I have ever done. To some it may seem like a silly idea to love working at an ice cream shop, but I have met some wonderful friends and learned many valuable lessons working at Coldstone, where I work currently. I love who I am at work and I love working. You will never know if work is your thing if you never try.