This is something I have been thinking about recently. I had a Saturday job from 15 (I might have even been 14) I worked in a local cafe with my best friend, we earnt about £2.20 an hour at the time and I loved my wage packet at the end of the day. I would head to Top Shop where I would rip open the small brown envelope which would be swapped for a new top. I played hockey at the weekends too but managed to fit it all in. As I started sixth form I swapped that job for working in a family friends garage where I did basic admin for them and seemed to make endless cups of tea for everyone. A highlight would be carrying out an audit of stock – I never knew what all the nuts and bolts and car pieces were so the stock was probably never right but I made it look tidy! My final job before Uni was working in a care home where I prepared and gave out the tea after the cook had finished for the day. I loved that job and befriended a few of the old people who had very few visitors. I did that two evenings and a Sunday morning until I went to Uni.
Those jobs, although very different taught me some great skills, both social and professional. I appreciated my wage as I had worked for it. However when I look at my 15 1/2 year old she does not seem ready for the world of work. But maybe that is exactly why a job is important. For me I never got into debt a Uni I lived within my means and I am sure that is down to learning how to budget before leaving home.
On one hand childhood is being extended with staying at school longer, children relying on parents financially for alot longer and the rise of boomerang families.
This leaves me unsure of when the ideal time for a child to get their first job is. Chloe getting her qualifications and GCSE’s is very important to me and she does study (more than I ever did) plus she plays hockey matches at the weekend during the season, this again is something I want her to continue with as she still dreams of making it further than the county team.
I also want her to have fun with friends, so far we seem to have the balance right as she is is excelling at everything plus she is generally lovely to go with it. Why would I upset the lovely balance we have? However I do think she needs to learn the value of money and understand how much work would be needed to get that new Topshop top (something’s don’t change over the generations).
When did you get your first paid job and when will you encourage your child to get theirs?