Part-time jobs for students: a fashion or a must? What are their advantages and disadvantages?

The concept of teenagers working after school is a relatively new one in our country. No wonder there are so many contradictory opinions about it. Some people believe that by working part-time young people gain a lot of skills which they will need in their future life and which they may never learn at school. Others claim that working distracts teenagers from their studies, which is hard work in itself. Personally, I am a strong supporter of doing part-time jobs by people of my age.

In the past not many teenagers worked after school, unless they had to – like farmers’ children. My parents told me that they often wanted to earn some money to go on holidays but all they could do was pick fruit in the summer for a week or two. There were no private companies which would employ them, nor did neighbours have enough money to afford asking a young boy to do some gardening for them or a girl to do some babysitting for a couple of zlotys.

Nowadays the situation is different and there are plenty of ways to earn money if you are a teenager. Some of my friends hand out leaflets to passers-by in the street, wrap goods in supermarkets, deliver pizzas, give tuition to children who have problems at school, and so on. Many people decide to do some voluntary, unpaid work in order not only to gain valuable work experience, which will look good on their CVs but also to get some self-fulfillment. They usually visit children in orphanages or elderly people in hospices.

There are even more reasons why we decide to work. Firstly, the pocket money we get from our parents is usually not enough to satisfy our needs. If we want to wear designer jeans or play the newest computer games, we have to work. Secondly, more and more young people decide to start working because they simply have to. In some poorer parts of Poland a lot of adults have been made redundant or they earn too little to pay for their son’s or daughter’s studies. When you travel to the seaside in the summer you can see a lot of teenagers and even children selling mushrooms and fruit along the road. In my opinion, this is very sad and the authorities should subsidize families with schoolchildren in those areas so that the kids were not forced to work to help their parents make ends meet.

A lot of people my age consider working a good way of socializing – working means going out and meeting new people and sometimes seeing new places. Very often they get a perfect opportunity to make plans what to do in the future. For example, if you hand out leaflets in front of a shop, you may see what such a workplace is like, as well as get to know people who work there in order to get first-hand accounts of a job of a shop assistant.

Working after school has a lot of advantages, however, it does also have certain drawbacks. The most obvious one is the fact that when you work a lot, you may lack time for studying and this way you may get behind with your schoolwork. Besides, some jobs are too hard for young people and can seriously harm their physical development. Quite often young workers are too tired and they become reluctant to go out with friends. Nevertheless, I believe that it is worth working a couple of hours a week if you are a teenager because the qualities and experience you receive then make you more attractive on the real job market later.


Pytanie, które może zadać egzaminator

What qualities can you gain if you work part-time as ­a teenager?

I believe that most – if not all – prospective employers like their young candidates to have at least some work experience and emotional maturity. Such young people prove to be independent, reliable and responsible, as a few years before they preferred to work while their friends were just having fun. It shows that they can be trusted despite their young age.

  • contradictory – sprzeczny
  • gain – osiągać, zdobywać
  • drawback – wada, minus
  • reluctant – niechętny