Balancing high school while having a job

     Throughout our high school careers, we have faced many milestones as we start to transition into adults. We begin to see our relationships shift, and suddenly college and beyond are much closer than we thought, and of course, everyone is excited about obtaining new responsibilities like getting their driver’s license. However, getting a job is one of the most important next steps we can take to grasp our individuality and freedom through responsibility. 

     After all, getting a job teaches us multitasking and communication skills as well as how to deal with difficult people like our bosses, co-workers and customers. Additionally, being able to manage your time becomes important in maintaining successful aspects of our lives such as school or relationships. While the idea of sacrificing school time for a job may be worrisome, there are many tactics you can consider to make your schedule more manageable. 

     It seems obvious how important it is to pick a job that is flexible with your personal schedule. However, it’s easy to get trapped in a job with too many hours to deal with or simply inconvenient days. Seeking a job that works with your extracurriculars and that allows for downtime is important. Therefore, it is essential to ensure good communication with your boss or scheduling manager. Talking about a schedule, even during the interview, is a great way to make sure a certain job won’t be too stressful for you. Additionally, you can earn respect from your employers for being an organized person; they’ll also most likely appreciate the heads up. If a concern of yours is not receiving the job as a result, just keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to get a job that won’t stress you out or negatively impact your grades, relationships or future.

     Finding a job you can enjoy can be just as impactful. You’ll have a much easier time balancing your work needs with school needs if your job doesn’t feel like a chore. If you love gaming, consider a local Gamestop; if you love baking, consider a cafe. However, even if you end up at your local fast-food restaurant, it isn’t impossible to like your job. Developing positive relationships with your co-workers is a great way to make work a lot more fun as well as possibly gain a friend.

     A tactic to avoid stress is sorting out your priorities. As you create a daily schedule or weekly calendar, you should prioritize your responsibilities. Keep in mind that you will still need time for homework, studying and spending time with friends. If any of these categories begin to suffer, it is okay to cut back on work and re-visit your plan.

     Similarly, everything can go much smoother by staying organized. Keeping your school work and anything you may need for your job organized in a specific area can be a huge help. Simply dedicating an area for anything you might need, such as a uniform, charger or chapstick, can make a huge difference in not making work feel like a burden you have to deal with after school. Keeping transitions smooth and easy as well as homework in a well-known place can go a long way to organizing any mess in your mind.

     Finally, it is important to recognize when to say no. If your boss begs you to work a day you know contradicts with school or a study date, say no. If you are asked to take on more hours to help out the store, but you know it will stress you out, say no. Never sacrifice one aspect of your social life to accommodate your job, otherwise, it becomes much easier to come to resent your occupation and eventually quit. Having a job as a high school student is completely doable and should never be written off as impossible.