I’ve been working since I was 7 years old, YUP, I started ironing dad’s shirts for 50c a pop when I was a little girl and moved on to washing cars and cutting the neighbours grass for anywhere between $7 and $10 depending on how good the neighbours were at negotiating.
The truth is, I’ve been hustling since I was 6 or so, which has put me in good stead for my adult life, because in my industry if you don’t hustle, think outside the box and make opportunities happen your career will be very short lived. Who knew that cutting Mrs Belrose’s grass would be the stepping stone to the life I have now. Crazy.
Anyhow, after my will to cut grass and wash cars on the weekend diminished and I was close to the legal working age of 14, I started to look for my first real life part time job, you know the type where you pay taxes, clock on and clock off, pay super and get paid weekly into your bank account. It was my first interview and I was nervous as hell but somehow I got the job… At McDonalds no less, for me it was the stuff that childhood dreams were made of. I’d had birthdays there, hung around the car park as a teen (why was that once cool) and eaten more cheeseburgers than you can imagine. I had nailed my dream job.
Now this all might seem a little satirical, which it is, but that is the truth of my story and where my first leap into the job force started. The point, it was one of the best damn times of my life and I’ll tell you why…
As a teen you are constantly pushing the boundaries and trying to show your parents that you are ready to adult. A job is a great way to get freedom whilst earning money to be able to start to support the activities you want to do, or to start saving for those big ticket items I have spoken about previously like your first car or your first apartment. However, you want to spend your hard earned cash is entirely up to you but having a job while still at school shows your parents in no uncertain terms that you are ready to have your curfew pushed a little later and that you are becoming an adult, surely they will release the reigns a bit when you are bringing in the big bucks.
FREEDOM PART 2
Freedom doesn’t just start and stop with your parents, working a job at school will also give you the financial freedom you need which in turn will help you to be able to live and travel guilt free. Let me tell you how much I wish I knew this when starting out. At 18 I got my first credit card, wooohooo. I bought my first car. I moved from a pre-paid sim to a locked in plan at $79 month. I took my first overseas trip and bought a heap of stuff that I didn’t really need, by 21 I was in debt. The craziest part is as well as working full time I worked a second job on weekends and yet I still couldn’t make ends meet, why? Because I had over-committed to my outgoings and I had more going out than I had going in and that is a recipe for disaster. Without savings in the back and debt hanging over my head I couldn’t afford not to work, so I stayed in jobs I hated, travelled far less than I should have and didn’t have the financial freedom to make decisions based on what I wanted to do, instead I was tied to earning a weekly income so I could pay my bills, which sucked. So save your little butts off, take that gap year and stay away from credit cards. If you don’t have the money to buy something, then save and buy it when you do. That’s the best advice I ever give you.
You’re going to learn a lot about yourself
Working gives you the opportunity to have more responsibility than you ever thought possible. Your job could be anything from working at a florist to a shoe shop to the local grocer, so no matter the job you choose to do on the side you will be suddenly responsible for not only yourself but for the business as a whole. You will be delegating tasks, reporting to managers, learning the till, completing open and close procedures of the day, banking and teaching others when they start exactly what you know. That is all responsibility and huge at that! This is the sort of stuff that gets you ready for life. It will teach you valuable skills from communication to dealing with conflict within a business to things as simple as choosing a super account and providing your TFN to your employer. These skills might seem at this stage a little menial but in a few years you will look back like me and think “my god I am glad I had that job which taught me X for this exact situation”. The day will come, trust me.
You’re going to make some awesome friends
Making friends outside of school is super important and a job is going to help you to do just that. It’s easy to get caught up in our own little world and forget just how important it is to get out of your everyday environment and your suburb for growth. Getting a job means you will be mixing with other people your own age who in most cases don’t live nearby you or go to your school so you have the opportunity to meet a whole new crew of people that will ultimately become your mates. It’s cool having friends outside of school that you can also hang with, plus it makes working a job that little bit more fun when you have a solid work crew.
Thanks for the memories
It’s exciting, you can work while in most cases still live at home and not have dreaded bills to pay. Yup, this is your time to get ahead with zero stress and have your savings account growing by the week. Work those extra shifts, take the Sunday shift for time and half, save your money and buy a plane ticket to somewhere fab. It’s time to start making memories that will last you a life time all with the security of having a job to go back to and the world at your feet!
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash