To relax or to work? After a busy year at school, with lots of studying and tough exams, during summer time teenagers don’t have to worry about homework, exams or anything school related. There are many parents who seek advice about whether they should give their teenage children some time off to enjoy summer or whether to encourage them to find a part-time job. Are you one of those parents experiencing this dilemma? Should your teenager start work to “grow up” a little or let them relax for a while longer? After all they will have the rest of their lives to work, right? Before taking any important decisions, it is good to weigh the pros and cons of such a decision.

What are the advantages of summer jobs for teenagers?

  • Learn new skills

New activities, which are different from the normal school routine, will help your son/daughter in developing one’s practical and soft skills. Sitting for an interview, meeting new people in a formal environment, understanding the value of work and working in a team, are only a few of the skills one may discover. A part-time job may also help in becoming more self-confident and independent.

  • Earn money

Whether to have money to spend on those little pleasures or to save for something special, a part time job can give your teenager financial independency, which will also teach them to have more financial responsibility. While you as a parent are still there to offer financial support if needed, they have the possibility of creating their own budget with the money earned.

  • Boost the Curriculum Vitae

Since many job positions require prior experience, a part-time job can help in this. Having experience in the workforce, even if it is not directly related to their chosen career path, shows that one is determined and has already obtained several skills, which are of value in any career. A summer job can also help one discover new things, such as what they like and dislike in a job, which can affect future career-related decisions.

What about the disadvantages?

  • Not enough time for friends and family

Part time jobs during the summer months many times have a schedule which may require your teenager to work on weekends, evenings, and holidays, usually for long hours. Therefore, this may affect their social life.

  • Work is stressful

After having worked hard at school throughout the year, a job during the summer months can be challenging. Working during that time of the year which is usually holiday time is not easy, especially if it is their first time doing it.

  • Not the ideal job

Since students lack job experience, any position your teenager might get offered may not be what they had wished for. This may also be reflected in the pay, as usually part-timers are paid with minimum wage or close to it. Many times these factors make young people reconsider whether going for such work would be worth it.

Although every parent wants their children to become self-sufficient adults, and summer work is the first step towards this, it is not a straightforward decision that parents and young people have to make. Discuss with your teenager these pros and cons in order to find the best way forward for them. However, whatever you choose together, it is important to encourage your teenagers to keep themselves busy doing things which help them develop into better people.

Ann Julene Hili is a Career Guidance Practitioner with Willingness. She specializes in working with teens and young adults who are in their educational and career transitions. She can be contacted on or call us on 79291817.