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Teenagers Need Summer Jobs with Meaning

Learned Values are as Important to Teens as Paychecks

Adolescents may fantasize about a lazy, relaxing summer as the ideal. However, the values of the right summer job can impact lives forever.
Summer break is often the long-awaited reward for schoolwork of many teenagers. And, while the time off and plenty of time for rest is important in development, writemypaperbro.com experts show the right type of work and the rewards from this work can have an impact on increasing social values, self-esteem and even future life satisfaction.

The Objectives of Summer Employment

Jeylan Mortimer writes in "How to Get a Summer Job" (Work and Occupations, National Institutes of Mental Health, 2002) that parents should be aware of the quality of the work more than the simple quantity of work.

In other words, the type of work being done and the reasons behind the work are as important as the amount of the pay coming from the work. The right work can lead to a higher appreciation for education, feelings of self-satisfaction and even lower rates of depression.

On the other side of the fence, work done only for monetary gain and with over-emphasis on hours and performance can lead to depression, drug use, and even long-term anxiety. These effects come largely from inappropriate pressures put on the teen by the family to contribute too much to the family earnings, trying to reach unrealistic goals in time or earnings, and working with a sense of punishment.

Parents can intervene by helping the teenager select the right environment for work and by teaching adolescents to work for the right reasons. After all, work is essentially the validation of one's ability to contribute to the common good. If work is approached as participation in a common effort to improve life rather than an effort to only promote self-gain, one would expect to garner the best of the benefits.

The right work for teens will be based on their interests and in the amount of time they have to dedicate to employment. Encouraging teens to explore entry-level fields in medical and technical fields can often result in jobs as medical service technicians and data entry positions. A position in these fields can often be obtained in PRN (per request or need) shifts, where teenagers will only be expected to be flexible in when they can work.

For entrepreneurial spirited teenagers, traditional needs of yard work, pool cleaning, and light household maintenance can beckon with benefits of learning to budget time, supply and demand, and higher money management demand.

For some teenagers, the best work may be work that does not pay at all. If money is not a priority, volunteer agencies hungrily accept summer support found in the temporary workforce of adolescents on break from school. The United Way and the YMCA are both agencies that offer volunteer opportunities for teens. Churches also rely on their youth to volunteer to carry out food and other ministries during the summer months.

Parent Involvement in Choosing Summer Jobs

Parents also need to be very aware of teenagers' schedules. Parents need to place an adult perspective on the amount of work undertaken by teenagers and assist in setting realistic goals. One word of caution: a teenager's job gives the parent another responsibility to monitor for attendance, peer group and position requirements. If a teenager is not right for a job, parents should encourage adolescents toward options more likely to have positive outcomes.

A summary of teenage work objectives for an ideal position:

  • Reflects teens interests in some way
  • No more than 40 hours per week to allows time for rest and socialization, other important parts of adolescent life
  • Parents need to verify work and employer schedule
  • Consider volunteering if money is not a priority or work is unavailable

Regardless of whether it is paid or not, working during time away from school is important. Teens are learning to be contributing members of society as part of their developmental task. Good work experiences offer rewards far beyond just a paycheck.

What about a digital startup which aims to expand its rate of growth and not look at sales in the beginning?

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