A recent study says summer work gives teens a competitive advantage later in life.


SACRAMENTO - That job as a local grocery store bagger or sandwich maker might not be the most glamorous, but a recent study says summer work gives teens a competitive advantage later in life.

A study by the University of British Columbia found that those who worked in the summer were more likely to have good employment and higher salaries later in life.

"Having a job as a teenager or young adult has a variety of different benefits," said John Nelson of the Job Journal.

Nelson said employers like to hire applicants who have worked as a teen, and having a job while in high school may also help with college applications. Colleges like to see that their students are able to juggle work and school activities.

"It's a great way to show colleges that you can handle responsibility," Nelson said.

In the State of California, teens can start working with a permit as young as 14 years old, but the standard for most jobs is 16 years of age.

Nelson said teens who work also get a good sense of what contributing to the household is like.

"It helps them get a little empathy for what mom and dad are doing and what we're trying to do for the household and bring in money so that we can provide for our kids," Nelson detailed.

As far as what to pursue, Nelson said teens should look at things they have an interest in doing. If there is a class the teen enjoys at school, like home economics, they could consider working as a hostess or a busser in a restaurant. If there are hobbies the teen has like swimming, they could consider becoming a lifeguard.

One way to find work as a teenager is to solicit your parents' friends. A simple posting from mom or dad on social media asking their friends if they have any work for their son or daughter will usually turn something up.

Once your teen is back in school, they can also talk to their teachers and counselors about internship opportunities.

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