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Lessons from a Summer Job

Lessons from a Summer Job

July 27, 2023

More than one million kids have joined the workforce this summer – many holding down a job for the first time. Many jobs well-suited for teens and young adults – better than minimum wage salary, requiring little or no prior experience, and offering flexible schedules — couldn’t be more plentiful. Unfortunately, many kids opt to sit out the summer in favor of sports and other extracurricular activities, according to surveys. They may be missing learning opportunities about the workplace environment, career possibilities, and what it means to pull down a paycheck.

For many, their first summer job is when he/she is 14/15, bagging groceries or working at McDonalds before his or her sophomore year in high school. Following are some valuable lessons to keep in mind:

*Taxes--There’s a difference between gross income and net income. It started with the first paycheck and the impact of taxes on take home pay. More importantly learning to pay yourself first, by sending a chunk from every paycheck into a college savings fund.

*Working for a minimum wage--Minimum wage is now between $12 to $14 an hour. It is a lesson in watching your pennies.

*Working with others--Being in the workplace means working as a team with others and sharing responsibility to provide quality customer service. Some bosses may yell over the store’s loudspeaker when customers are waiting at the checkout aisle to open more registers while watching who steps up. He/she also watches to see who steps up. The lesson, the importance of hustling, working quickly, staying busy, and looking for other ways to help. Remember, you work for a business; customers aren’t there to hear about your problems, they are there for service.

*Bosses can behave badly—If a manager acts or says something inappropriate report him/her to the store manager-or his boss.

*Opportunities for promotions—Just because it is a summer or part time job does not mean there aren’t opportunities for promotion and remember you may want to come back next summer. The lesson, take advantage of opportunities even if they were outside your comfort zone.

*Mentors—This is someone with experience that can help you, provide advice, and start you on a career path. Knot that you aspire to work in that type of industry nor, the mentor be your current boss, but someone that shows an interest in you both academically and with extracurriculars besides a parent or relative that you may look up to such as a teacher, successful business owner or neighbor.

Summer work whether at a grocery store, hardware store or fast-food place is invaluable in one other area. It gives you a better perspective to develop your interest, and self-confidence.



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