What I Wish I Knew About Having a Job

Working nine to five might be the norm for adults, but as a high school student, a job comes with plenty of consequences.

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High school.

The meaning of those two words drastically differ depending on who one asks. This is because what students choose to involve themselves them in during these four years of their educational career varies. Some choose to take a path of science, math, fine arts, business or tech. Not only do students have a choice of what to involve themselves within school, but also outside of it, such as jobs.

For many students in high school, they spend the majority of their four years learning and preparing for a future at a college or university. Post-secondary education is viewed by many as a necessity to gain financial stability, a secure career, and success in general. Due to the high costs of colleges and universities throughout the nation, many high school students opt to get a job in order to save up for the hefty price tag that comes with pursuing a degree or another form of certification. And for some students who have a job while currently in school, there are a few things they wish they knew beforehand.

Just recently, senior Andrew Pimpo acquired a job at Dunkin’ Donuts.

“I have college to blame for [getting a job], as the numbers on cost can be sincerely scary,” Pimpo said. “In order to afford a degree, something I am constantly told I cannot really live without, I had to have some form of income. I would say my parents had a lot of play in it as well as they pressured me to keep applying and asking around for jobs. After a long search I was given a job at Dunkin’ Donuts and have, in my own opinion, progressed fairly.”

Despite getting the job there are still a number of things that Pimpo wished he knew before accepting his new role.

“Certainly that my life would get less unpredictable,” he said. “Ye,s I would have a lot more to do, but I knew it would happen and would be trained to do it. The hardest part of the job search was asking for a job. I cannot pinpoint a reason, but I felt like cringing the entire time I would interview or apply for a job and follow up on it. After actually getting one and having a group of people that I knew and a schedule, it was a far more manageable type of stress. Knowing that would have made the process less of a behemoth.”

Many students stress out about both the process of applying for a job, waiting for an interview, and the actual interview. Those are sometimes the most difficult parts of acquiring the job, simply because all that can be done is to wait, and hope that you are fit for the job and that you did your best during the interview.

“[I wish I knew] how demanding some people are,” senior Stephanie Masse said. “Being a waitress is already a fast-paced job, but when you get crabby old people it’s horrible.”

After serving at a restaurant, Masse has some advice for those looking to get a job waiting tables or a just a job in general.

“Never get a job you’re not going to enjoy,” she said. “Ask for a realistic amount of hours: for example, 12-18 hours. Also, if you’re in sports look for a job that is very flexible [with that] schedule. But always remember, school comes first.”

Pimpo agrees with Masse. However, he also believes that the work environment is also extremely important to consider when apply or accepting a job.

“Go where other high schoolers are working,” Pimpo said. “If the managers are familiar with what a student needs, they will be far more amiable and that is super important. Now really that doesn’t narrow it down, as [high schoolers] are kind of a lot of places. But it is still important.”

Senior Seth Wright also contributed some advice.

“I would say get a job that allows you to work weekends, and has a fairly flexible outlook on scheduling,” Wright said. “I am very lucky with my job at Antioch Pizza, in that the schedule is so flexible for its workers. At my job, I can get any day off that I want as long as no more than one other person is also taking that day off, and I give two weeks notice, or if I can get someone to cover my position. This allows me to easily take off work without penalty for school functions such as the plays/musicals that I am involved in.”

Wright finds scheduling to be one of the most important factors to think about when going for a job.

“When high school is a factor, jobs that allow you to work weekends and less than 15 hours are beneficial, and you can always pick up more hours if you feel it won’t get in the way of school and homework,” Wright said.

Overall, these students felt as if finding a job with a flexible schedule was most important. Balancing school and a job is difficult, and ultimately it is in a person’s best interest to focus on academics. Therefore, if looking for a job, try to find one that allows a focus on getting good grades, while also saving up for the next step in an academic career: college.

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