The Importance of a High School Job


“Hey man, what’re you up to tonight?” “I have to work, sorry dude.” Throughout my high school career, I must have had that same conversation more times than I could possibly remember.

It is my opinion that having a job during high school is vitally important to the high school experience, as well as to growing as a person during the formative teenage years.

I picked up my first job freshly after I turned sixteen, at the KFC down on 175th and Center. Looking back, I can say that I almost certainly learned more there than I did most of my sophomore year.

Starting at KFC, I was young, naive, and honestly a little scared to jump into the real world. I was plunged into a world of diversity that I had never been exposed to before; I made friends and had conversations with people of every race and age imaginable.

I also saw a wide spectrum of human natures, from kind, wise old ladies, to large, angry, red-faced men who care a bit too much about their chicken wings. Working a high school job is like taking a field trip into the real world; that said it is also probably more educational than most of the field trips I’ve ever been on.
One of the more important things working at KFC taught me is that I definitely do not want to work at a KFC for the rest of my life. All the power and luck to those who do, but it is just not for me.

Nowadays I work as a cook at Zio’s Pizzeria, flipping dough in both terms of the word.

That leads me to another perk of working a high school job: the cold hard cash. Having a little spending money makes life exceedingly better, and what better time would there be to have it than in high school when bills are still talking scrolls of paper on the capitol steps.

It is immensely satisfying to purchase something you’ve desired for a while with money that you yourself earned.

Working also taught me a thing or two about time management, which is something I tend to not be the best at. I can put off homework till the last second and not feel a twinge of guilt, but for some reason I pride myself on getting to work on time and fulfilling whatever duties my job entails to the best of my ability.

If I slip up (which happens to the best of us from time to time) I try my best to rectify the situation, or, in other words, I care about my job. I wasn’t aware a part of me existed that could work that hard until I was being paid to do it.

Working is rewarding in numerous ways, so if you aren’t forced to do it, and even if you don’t need the money, I think you should do it for the experience. No matter how you look at it, it pays to get a high school job.