A lot of kids these days think that it’s their birth right to have the latest gadgets that technology has to offer. Although they’re lucky to be born during a time when information can be had in a second and most tasks can be done instantaneously, the downside is that not all of them realize the value of hard work.
According to Women’s Business Council, a government-backed organization, parents today are too obsessed with having their kids do brilliantly in academics, so much so that they overlook the importance of training their kids to exist in the real world. Let’s say that an overprotective parent has managed to raise her son to be outstanding in the academe.
When the kid graduates from college, he gets shell shocked with what’s in the real world because his mom never encouraged him to do real work in the past. With kids having very little or no experience in the workplace, they graduate from high school or college totally unprepared for the working life.
This is just one of the many reasons why parents should encourage their kids to take on a real summer job. You can probably start by having your kids do their share of responsibilities in doing household chores. Encourage them to volunteer in the community or apply for age-appropriate summer jobs with real businesses in your area. There are many benefits in encouraging your kids to take on a real job, which we will learn more about in the next section.
Top 10 Reasons to Want Your Kids to Get a Summer Job
For parents who are still thinking twice about having their kids take on a summer job, here are the reasons why you should actually encourage them to do some real work:
1. College graduates leaving university with zero work experience is a huge deficit.
A few generations back, it was commonplace for kids to take on part-time summer jobs while they were at school. The daughter of a prominent family can be seen working behind the counter at a local shop. Kids work part-time at machine shops and other local businesses. Unfortunately, the trend these days is for parents to obsess about the academic performance of their kids. They enroll them in different skills development classes and if they have no affinity for it, they end up feeling disappointed.
Another scenario is a parent who never let his or her child work a real job all throughout college. Once a kid leaves the university with zero job experience, it can be a huge deficit in his or her employment chances. In the same vein, not having that real-world work experience may affect the social and emotional kids of your child in the sense that he or she may have no clue about how it really is out there.
2. If you have a family business, having your kids work might just inspire them to run the company in the future.
Although parents should never force their kids to run the family business or even be involved in it if they have no interest in it at all, it serves as a good training ground. If you have a pre-teen daughter, have her do clerical jobs at your office once she’s old enough. Even menial tasks like answering the phone or doing manual labor if you are into manufacturing can clue them in on how the business works. Seeing how things are on the ground might also inspire your kid to think about running the family business in the future.
3. Handling different tasks will give kids the opportunity to find something that they are passionate about.
A girl who works for a local pastry shop might aspire to own a similar business in the future. A boy who looks up to his dad, who is the CEO of a big company, can be tasked to work entry-level jobs so that he would see what it really takes to run a business from the ground up. A kid who worked as a mechanic helper, a handyman helper, or a part-time painter might find an affinity to building, so much so that he studies to become an architect in the future.
When kids are encouraged to handle a variety of tasks, they are bound to find something they’re good at, are interested in or are downright passionate about. This will help them decide which career path to follow in the future.
4. Kids who work will know the value of hard work and managing their own money.
When you encourage your child to work part-time so that he or she can help add to a college fund that is already one way of teaching the value of sheer hard work. If you have a son who works at the local coffee shop during weekends, he would learn how challenging it is to earn real money. The mere fact that he is already earning money on his own will make him realize its value, and make him spend his earnings in a reasonable manner.
5. Interacting with different kinds of people will train them how to be part of a community.
Kids who worked different summer jobs at local businesses within the community would know how to deal with all sorts of people. Compare a straight A student whose only social interactions are with a few friends at school and family members, with someone who has been exposed to people from all walks of life.
The latter kid would thrive in almost any environment while the former might find it difficult to adapt to the real world once he or she is out of college. Dealing with bosses, yuppies, ordinary folks, taxi drivers, total strangers, fellow kids and a variety of personalities would help develop your kid’s social skills – something which can only be learned once you let his or her world grow by taking on a real job.
6. They will learn about real world responsibility.
Did you know that in Japan, there has been a long standing tradition of students cleaning their own schools? These kids are made responsible for the cleanliness and orderliness of their schools, so much so that they are all tasked to clean the toilets at one point or another. If you’re a student who knows how difficult and icky it is to clean a dirty toilet, you would think twice about using it improperly the next time.
This is a practice that you would not necessarily find at schools in the US, although you can do the next best thing which is require your kid to do his or her share of the household chores – and take on a real job at a local business once it’s already age-appropriate.
7. They can gain that oh-so-important job experience.
No matter how excellent someone’s academic record is, it will all be for naught of a prospective employee will crumble under the stress of working in the real world. A young woman who graduated summa cum laude at a university, and was hired as an entry-level employee at a prestigious company may succumb to the pressure of holding down a real summer job if she has zero work experience.
A young man who plans to open his own restaurant someday might be stressed out apprenticing for a chef at a restaurant if he’s never worked at a real kitchen before. If you encourage your kid to take on a real job, they can gain that ever important job experience – even if the industries are totally unrelated.
8. Taking on a summer job will help kids find something that they’re good at.
If your son worked as a bus boy, a mechanic helper, a painter, coffee fetcher, or a garden assistant, he would eventually find something that he is good at. The same thing holds true for kids who are encouraged to work at real businesses in the local community, or are tasked to volunteer with the local churches or homes. An experience or an encounter with someone will click, and that’s when they will know that they will find what they want to eventually do in life.
9. They can practice how it is to live in the real world.
Some parents are so scared to let their kids go out into the real world, that they shield them from any experience that they think might cause them physical pain or emotional hurt. If you allow your kids to take on a real job, he or she would know how the real world works, a skill which is definitely needed once he or she goes out of the safe four walls of the university.
10. They can learn about the career triangle.
The concepts of the career triangle include job satisfaction, lifestyle and the cash or non-cash benefits. If your kid manages to hold down a part-time summer job at a local business, he or she would learn about the basic concepts of being satisfied with the value of hard work. The monetary rewards will also be part of it, although the bigger bucks would come in later on when they’re already professionals.
These and more are the reasons why all parents should encourage their kids to take on real jobs while they’re young. It can be as simple as working on menial tasks for the family business, volunteering at a local shelter during their free time, or working weekends for a local business across the street. By exposing kids to what a real summer job entails, the skills, knowledge and experience gained can be used once they grow into full-fledged adults.