An after-school job can provide a way to save for college -- and multitude of other things your youngster might want -- but it may also interfere with high school studies. In 2008, 24 percent of high school students age 16 and older were employed, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Whether the impact of working after school is positive or negative depends on each student’s circumstances, and the pros and cons of an after-school job should be weighed carefully by the student and his family.
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If your child is interested in an after-school job, she’s probably looking for some extra funds for spending and saving. An after-school job often gives high school students their first taste of financial independence. While she might be tempted to indulge in shopping sprees every pay day, you can teach her how to use her money wisely to learn about budgeting, goals and hard work. An after-school job can help toward savings for college, giving her a long-term goal to pursue. With the remainder of the cash, help your child designate a portion for spending money and the remainder for shorter term goals, such as a vehicle and the gas and insurance expenses that accompany that purchase.
An after-school job is invaluable in providing a child with experience in the working world beyond home and school. With a job, he can learn responsibility, dependability and how to work with others; all skills that he can apply in other areas of life. Many students find after-school jobs in the service industry where they also must learn to deal with the public as well as with a boss and coworkers. A study conducted by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine found that students who were able to balance school and work learned time-management skills that allowed them to work when they went to college, too.
Working after school can help a child make connections with adults who can help her later. A supervisor can provide references for future jobs or recommendations for scholarships. Stephanie Binder, college counselor at The Beacon School in New York, says connections with coworkers can foster the development of interpersonal skills on a different level than the friendships they share with fellow students.
After-school jobs can greatly curtail the amount of time spent on schoolwork. A 2007 study by Kusum Singh, professor of Educational Research and Evaluation at Virginia Tech, found that working more than 15 hours a week had a detrimental effect on academics. A previous study by Singh, in 2000, found that having a part-time job affected which courses a student chose to take. A student with a heavier work schedule may need to take less strenuous classes to keep up his grades.
In addition to having less time to spend on schoolwork, an employed student also has less personal time. She will have less time to spend with friends and less time for leisure pursuits. Extracurricular activities at school may conflict with the work schedule. She may also find herself functioning on fewer hours of sleep, either because she works late hours or must stay up late to finish homework.
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The Pros and Cons of Working from Home
A Look at the Pros and Cons of Being a Home-Based Business Owner
Whether you are a home-based small business owner who works from home full time, or someone who splits his or her time by working from home occasionally, there are a number of pros and cons to consider before you set up a home office and plan your work environment.
Working out of a home-based office is certainly not for everyone, so it's important to consider the many advantages and disadvantages before you make it a part of your work process.
Here are a few of each to help you decide if working from home is right for you.
The Pros of Working from Home
There are a number of reasons working from home is a great option for many small business owners. Here is a look at a few:
- There is no commute. Not having a long commute to and from work can save a great deal of time and money. It can even reduce your daily stress levels.
- There is greater flexibility. Working from home allows you to work during your most productive times, wear what you're most comfortable wearing and create a workflow that works for you.
- You can reduce distractions. While there may be distractions at home, you control them much easier than you can control distractions that come from coworkers, employees, and other office-based noise.
- Your day is often less stressful. When you work from your home, you have more control over your stress level and can more easily walk away or take a break when work gets particularly crazy.
- You can save money. Not only can you save money by avoiding the long commute, but you can also write off a portion of your home office expenses on your taxes when you work from home.
- You can improve your work/life balance. Many professionals struggle with finding a balance between work and their personal lives. Working from home can make this balance a little bit easier to find and maintain.
The Cons of Working from Home
Working from home sounds like a pretty good deal, doesn't it? Before you take the plunge, consider these disadvantages that often come with working from home:
- You need a lot of self-discipline Getting up and focusing on work every day when you are in your home environment takes a great deal of self-discipline and motivation.
- It can be lonely. Working all day without access to coworkers and colleagues can be very isolating and lonely.
- It's harder to shut down. There can be less distinction between work and personal life when you work from home, making it harder to shut down and more likely that you will overwork.
- You lose living space. Creating a home office or workspace can use up living space in your home.
- Relationships are harder to form. It's hard to establish trust and develop relationships with colleagues and clients when you don't have a daily face-to-face connection.
- There's less ad hoc learning. Office workers are constantly in a position to learn from their peers. When you work from home, you will need to make an extra effort to seek out networking and learning opportunities on your own.
Only you can decide if working from home is right for your small business.
Along with considering the pros and cons outlined here, you also need to consider the type of work that you do, whether to not you will have access to the equipment you need to do your job, your home situation, and your personal character traits. By analyzing these factors, you can make a decision that will work for your business.
Get started by asking yourself these three questions to see if you're ready for a home office work environment.