Mill Valley News

Working an after school job has made me a better person

Working during the school year is a great way for students to prepare for the future and be better people

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Working an after school job has made me a better person

Maddie Schaffer, JAG reporter/photographer

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A common conversation topic I often discuss with friends is that we should spend more time together. I love seeing my friends and hanging out with them. However, I have little free time to spend with them because of my busy schedule with yearbook, school, family and work. What keeps me busiest is my job, but I choose to work often in order to make money, continue building positive relationships with fellow coworkers and spend time in an environment in which I am constantly learning new things and growing as a person. It is common teenagers to face the difficult decision of whether or not to have a job during the school year. Being one of the 70 of about 200 students surveyed who works three to four days a week, I advise students that they should work during the school year. Despite having only started working six months ago, I have already learned many skills that will improve my future and make me a better person.

When you really want something and have a genuine goal, it’s not difficult to make that happen. My personal goal at the moment is to be able to buy myself a car at the end of the school year. I learned to break my goal down, making it periodic and have a time frame. This summer, my goal was to save $1,000 by the time school started and $500 in first semester. After passing both my summer and first semester goals by great measures, I made my future goals more high reaching than before. If you pass your goal greatly the first time, your next goal should be raised in order for you to challenge yourself and have something to work towards. Working has taught me the power of setting the goal to save as much as possible in order to get what you want.

Goal setting has also affected my work ethic, causing me to strive to do my best at my job in hopes of a possible raise. Seeing a few of my current and past coworkers do poor work and experiencing the consequences has caused me to value hard, thorough work. I now strive to do my job the best I can in order to avoid consequences, contribute to a better work environment for everyone and create a better experience for customers. Learning a strong work ethic is extremely important for the future of a high schooler looking forward to college and high level jobs.

I am often asked how I get all my homework done and turned in on time. The answer is simple, time management. Like all teenagers, I sometimes tend to procrastinate. Despite this, I always find time to stay on top of my homework, maintain my 3.75 GPA and write stories like this for the news website and the yearbook. The advice I would give to anyone asking would be to, “take advantage of the little moments,” the ten minutes at the end of class while you’re waiting to go to the next one could be used to get a few questions on that math homework finished instead of just scrolling through Instagram and answering snapchats. Using extra class time and seminar to get all your assignments done piece by piece, makes homework a lot easier to handle.

Additionally, as a hostess, I am the first impression people get of the restaurant. Greeting people and talking to a wide variety of customers has greatly improved my people skills. As large contributors to my problem solving and people skills, the difficult customers have taught me very valuable things. Learning to deal with unhappy people and put your foot down is an extremely effective lesson about how to deal with people for the rest of your life. It’s not just the difficult customers that teach one people skills either. Something our generation seems to struggle with at times is simply talking to people. Greeting people and having small conversations with various customers for hours a day is a great way for young people to learn how to communicate with adults and peers.

Superiors in the work environment also teach students a lot about social skills. Showing respect to those at a higher level while maintaining a positive relationship with them can get one far in life. The skills and personality traits one learns in high school can largely shape who they become as an adult. If one is taught to be disrespectful at a young age, they will likely be disrespectful for the rest of their life. Learning how to build strong, positive connections with superiors and do that for the rest of your life is a great way to get where you want to be.

There are many benefits to working having an after school job. From time, money and goal management to people skills, problem solving and work ethic, there are many reasons a student should be working during the school year. Whether it’s to improve yourself or just to have a little money to spend, having an after school job is something all students should consider doing.

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