The Developmental Benefits of a Summer Job by Amanda Winstead

Summer Job 1
Photo by Julia M Cameron

The Developmental Benefits of a Summer Job by Amanda Winstead Explains the many benefits of working with others during the summers while you are in high school. While you may learn some useful skills on the job, the people skills you developed are invaluable. Thanks, Amanda.
School and parenting are essential elements in a child’s growth, but they are not the only things that can benefit your child’s development. It is also helpful for them to gain further knowledge and skills through other life experiences, such as a job.

Though it’s understandable that you might want your kids to have the freedom to enjoy their youth, a job doesn’t have to be a limiting experience for kids. In fact, a summer job can be fun, social, and help teach them new life skills and behaviors that are essential to growing into a responsible, healthy adult. And it doesn’t have to take up all of their time either.

Instead of having a job year-round, your kids can simply look into something part-time over the summer, which still gives them plenty of free time and opportunities to pursue other interests. But even just a part-time summer gig can do wonders for developmental growth and help prepare your kids for higher education and the “real world” once they graduate and move into adulthood.

A Summer Job is More Than Just a Paycheck
Though a summer job can help your kid financially prepare for college and put money in their pockets, it’s not just about the paycheck. A summer job can open your kid’s world up to so many new experiences.

Let’s take a look at the many benefits of a summer job that go above and beyond simply providing your kids with a paycheck.

When kids are younger, time is somewhat of an abstract construct. They rely on adults to help them understand what time it is and when things need to happen. But as your kids get older, time management becomes an important skill that can help them manage school, work, and their free time and social life. So by getting a summer job, your kid will learn to become more responsible with their time and how best to manage multiple things at once or in a day.

If your kid is lacking in confidence or simply doesn’t feel that they have much control over their life, a summer job can help. Having a job teaches your kid new skills that can help them feel more confident about their abilities, which can overall improve their sense of self-worth and self-confidence. It can also give them a sense of independence, which can help them feel like they are more in control of their life and what happens to them.

Educational Development
Summer jobs have also been shown to help kids with learning in the classroom. Overall, having a job can teach kids and teens new skills that boost their cognitive development and help them succeed more in school. Most importantly, it helps boost their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential when it comes to academic performance.

Social Skills
Whether your kids are shy or not, a job can help them expand their social circle and develop new relationships that can become an important part of their lives. For kids who perhaps are on the shy side, having a job can help them come out of their shells and learn to interact more with others. If they aren’t shy, it can help them socialize and network, expanding their circle of friends to people who can further help them grow and become a healthy adult.

Financial Responsibility
Understandably, kids don’t tend to have the best financial habits. With each new generation, such as Gen Z, spending habits change. So when your kids start earning money, it can help you better understand what their money habits are like or will be like, which paves the way for you to sit down and chat with them about healthy financial habits. This can help them learn how to better spend and save their money to prepare for their future.

Summer Job 2

Photo by cottonbro
Tips to Help Your Kid Land a Summer Job
It’s one thing to talk about your kid having a summer job and another thing altogether to help them actually get one. No two kids are the same. While some might easily land their ideal summer job, others might not. It’s also important not to force a job on your kid that isn’t a right fit.

land their ideal summer job:

1. Look for the right job.
Every job comes with different duties and requirements, so make sure the one your kid chooses is a good fit for them. This can include standard summer jobs at amusement parks, summer camps, swimming pools, restaurants, retail stores, etc. Or, it can be something a little more professional for older teens just out of high school, such as computer programing, pharmacy tech, customer service, or even maintenance work.

2. Interview practice.
For some kids, the interview can be the hardest and most nerve-wracking part of landing a summer job. So it can be helpful to sit down with them and practice what it’s like to be in an interview. Tell them what it might be like, what questions they might get asked, and how best to act and respond.

3. Interview outfit.
Though a lot of summer jobs don’t necessarily require your kids to dress nice or professional, it doesn’t hurt to go into the interview looking a little more put together. So in addition to helping them practice for an interview, it’s also helpful to take them out shopping for nice interview outfits. If they are just out of high school and going for a more professional job, the right outfit can help them make a good impression.

Final Thoughts
When helping your kid land a summer job, just remember that the goal is to improve their skills and provide them with a new experience that is beneficial to them. If you force them into something that isn’t the right fit or that they have zero interest in, it could end up doing more harm than good.

So try to make it a positive experience. The more interested your kid is in the job they land, the more they will get out of it and the more effort they will put into it.

Amanda Winstead

  • Amanda is a freelance writer out of Portland focusing on many topics, including educational technology. Along with writing, she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi, you can find her on Twitter.
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