Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Talk Back Radio Topics: Teenagers and jobs.

I am a big fan of talk back radio and there are times I have sat in the car to hear the end of a discussion. Usually, I want to talk about it some more and write blog posts in my head, but then I get busy and don't type them up.

This was a conversation from a couple of weeks ago that still runs around my mind.

Did you have a job as a teenager? I had a few random jobs. Washing dishes at the local pubs, waitressing, admin stuff, babysitting.

According to the experts, teenagers who work 8-10 hours a week are pretty much the winners of future job interviews.

Research confirmed that students working 8-10 hours a week were:
- Getting better academic results
- Getting into the courses they wanted to do after school
- Having great success at securing future employment
- Earning more cash (clearly)

It was a big conversation with people saying that senior school students have a lot of pressure these days and no time for work. The 'Get a Job' Man, suggested that year 12 has always been stressful, and previously we didn't have google to help us, AND we had to handwrite everything. He also suggested if you counted up the amount of time these "stressed and busy' teens were using on social media each week it would probably be well over 8 hours.

PLUS - research proved that those who worked a few hours actually got better marks then those who didn't. So if you want to improve your marks, get a job.

The calls kept coming in from parents and employers. Employers were adamant, that if a kid had been at the till of the local chicken and chips shop or mopping floors somewhere every Saturday morning that these kids were in front of others. The teenagers who had babysitting gigs or got paid to mow the lawn for the neighbours regularly also showed skills of understanding 'how' to work and were equally better off.

Some parents still defended the no-work side, arguing about sport and music lessons and the whole no time thing. But Mr "Get a Job" responded with a controversial stance of a job being more important than sports training. No future employer will ever ever ask "How many goals did you get in netball?", he said. "They just will not care. They will care if you had a little job and you turned up on time, however junior and basic that job might have been."

The general idea was, whatever school you go to, whatever marks you get, whatever skills your kid has or sporting award received, the kids with a job a few hours a week are the winners.

It was all so interesting.

As usual, every parent was wanting to defend the choice they have made on behalf of their own teen.

Have you got teenagers? Do they work? Do you have a teenaged baby sitter? What's the going rate in your area?


  1. I worked from as soon as I was old enough - first, the local milk bar with the skeevy owner who would insist I wore skirts to work and send me up ladders at every opportunity. Then, the bookshop in the next suburb for the next three years until I finished high school.

    My kids will be working as soon as they're old enough - in fact, I use the local fruit shop precisely because they hire young people all the time (and the kids are always happy to be there!) and I'm looking for employment for Future Chaos that doesn't involve me sitting in the Maccas car park at midnight (see - looking out for #1!)

    (And, it's awesome to know that being Good At Sport is not a pre-requisite for life!)

    1. You are on to this already. I have a few years to go, but I like your thinking!

  2. Ihave had a job one way or another since I was 12 years old. I totally agree with Mr Get A Job - I think it's character-building and teaches responsibility, independence and the importance of service. I sound like I'm 80, but that's how I feel! x

    1. There is nothing wrong with the mind of an 80 year old. It could be difference between your kids having a good job in the future - or not.

  3. I totally agree. Having a job is vital to future success and teaches our kids so much more than work ethics. It teaches them responsibility, respect, independence and how to deal with different situations in the 'real world', which many teens don't see a lot of due to being online so much.

    Both our older girls (my step-daughters) work. The eldest one has an unconventional job in that she sings at gigs every second weekend as she this is what she wants to do for a living. She has done nearly 200 gigs over the past three years. Not only is it strengthening her performance and voice, but it teaches her responsibility, management, how to deal with adults, business sense and financial responsibility. She has saved for most of her sound gear and is also saving to study in Nashville when she finishes school. She has also just started working, waitressing in a local cafe two days a fortnight. It isn't much, but is giving her a different set of responsibiities.

    Our 15-year-old has been working since she was 14 in a local cafe. She started out as a 'dish pig' and after 12 months was promoted to waitress. Her boss is so impressed with her work ethic as she is the longest 'dish pig' to hang around. She's now seeing how persistence and effort in doing something that isn't much fun pays off. She is loving waitressing and her new pay rise!

    Both our older girls have lots of after school activities and still manage to hang out with friends and enjoy down time. It's all about family values and how you teach your kids.

    1. That's fantastic Jodi. This is exactly what the segment was about. It is not important what the job is, the 'dish-pig' role is still vital for the cafe to run and needs to be done at a high standard, learning this and sticking around for the long term rewards put your 15 year old well ahead of those without jobs, especially at age 21 against someone else who has not been required to work 'while they are busy studying'.

  4. We are a pro "teen job" family here! Hubby and I both were employed from 14 and believe each point the "get a job man" has made... We are wayyy of that stage with our little people but will def be raising them to think that's what the norm is.

  5. All my kids worked part time, mainly at Maccas. My daughter is a first year Uni student and has three part time jobs at the moment. She loves the money, but she managed to pass all her subjects with no drama. I had a horrible part time job at a dress shop when I was at school. It taught me that I never wanted to work in a dress shop again.


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