Filling out applications, refining your interview skills, making your own money for a change–no matter how you look at it, getting a job is a major step towards adulthood. Though joining the workforce is a very exciting for a teen, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
According to a study released by CareerBuilder, “the number of jobs held by teens between 14 and 18 years old shrank by 33 percent between 2001 and 2014.” In response to the findings of the study, Jennifer Grasz, Vice President of Corporate Communications at CareerBuilder, gives a logical explanation for the decline in teen jobs.
“Teenagers are now having to compete with college students and even retirees or other workers that are more seasoned for opportunities because people just need to earn a paycheck,” said Grasz.
With the application process becoming so much more competitive for teens, many decide that applying for multiple positions as their best option.
“I applied for multiple jobs, and two were companies like Publix and Target, so I figured I wouldn’t get one there,” said junior Diya Flenaugh.
While some teens find jobs by asking around or online, many find available positions through family members or friends.
“I asked my friend if I could work at her job and she said no, but that she had found me another job where a friend of hers worked,” said Flenaugh. “I got an application, trained for three days, and they said I could be hired.”
Getting hired is one thing, but actually having to work is an entirely separate dilemma. While most people look to work somewhere that they will enjoy working at, it is not always possible to get the job of your dreams. While dealing with less than preferable hours, repetitive tasks, and juggling academic commitments, some teens wish they could simply quit.
“I hate my job,” said senior Camryn Martin. “I work at Babies “R” Us and it’s not interesting in any form or fashion. I basically just help people find what they need for different ages of kids. I’ve been there for literally over a year and a half now.”
Getting a job and working are difficult, but one of the hardest decision a teen has to make is when it is time to leave a job. The reasoning to leave a job can range from bad conditions, strained academics, or inadequate pay. But whatever the reason, it is ultimately a complicated decision to make as a teen.
“I worked at the Marcus Jewish Community Center in Florida for the past two summers,” said junior Zaria Henry. “But I don’t plan on going to Florida this year for an extended period of time.”
But leaving a job in one place does not eliminate the opportunity to start a new job somewhere else.
“I am sad I can’t go back and I am going to miss all of the kids there,” she said, “but hopefully I can work at the Marcus Jewish Community Center here in Atlanta, and they will understand why I left.”
While contemplating any decision regarding jobs, Chamblee security guard Ronald Brown reminds us of what is truly important while recalling being let go from a job over a disagreement.
“I think being humble, and staying respectful, is important,” said Brown. “Keep some of your goals and aspirations to yourself and be careful the way you communicate them.”