05 Feb

Should Your Student Get a Job?

Numerous college students work to help cover their tuition costs, and with the economy in its current state, it is becoming more and more necessary for many families. As in all parenting decisions, however, there are many more criteria (beyond the money factor) to consider when deciding whether or not your student should get a job.

Growing Up

Did you know that, on average, college students who work approximately 12 hours a week tend to do better in school? That’s because having a job forces students to learn time management skills and discipline–two skills that will valuable over their lifetimes.

In addition to providing them extra pocket money, the right job can provide students with both a feeling of accomplishment and that they are contributing financially to their college experience. Creating a positive relationship with a supervisor can lead to future letters of recommendations, or even future career opportunities.

Best of all, if your student can find a job even remotely related to the industry he or she is studying, a variety of networking opportunities may open up–and he or she can sample the environment to make certain it is a good path to pursue.

Focusing In

Though having a job can be a very positive experience for many students, there are several factors you and your student need to focus on during the job search.

First, your child is a student first, employee second (and his/her employer needs to understand that, too). Obviously, the point of going to college is to earn a degree, and sacrificing potential school time for work requires a student to make sure they are effectively managing his or her schedule so they can graduate on time .

Second, students needs balance. They need to consider the difficulty of their classes, the amount of stress they are experiencing, and the commitment required and flexibility of each job they are considering. It is typical for students to work 12-15hrs/week (although some work more, and some need to work less). Each student is different as to how many activities they can juggle at one time.Ā  For some, school alone can be a full-time job, so plan work hours accordingly.

Making the Decision

Once you and your student have made the decision for your student to try earning some part time income, keep tabs on how it’s going. College can get overwhelming and stressful at times for students so, as always, it is important to make sure they are keeping their schoolwork and emotional well-being as their top priority.

I’ll be posting some things to help your student find the right job in a future post, so if your student does decide to pursue getting a job, keep your eyes open for that article!

All the best,
Deborah Fox

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