Working holiday jobs as a teenager, even part time jobs in high school or through university teaches you many lessons that will ease you into the life of adulting slightly easier than those who dive right in. But only slightly. There isn’t much out there to prepare you for the adult world. No need to worry about it though, you have plenty of time to grow into your big person shoes.
You need a holiday job so that you can earn money and have some fun with it. You may be thinking, “ what’s the point in working during the holidays?" or, "it doesn't make sense to be making money but not being able to spend it on doing things because I’ll be working?” The answer to those questions are shifts, other holidays and, at the end of the day, it really is worth it.
Also, it never hurts to have an extra stash of cash lying around. And what’s better, it’s hard-earned. You can start saving your money to go towards your tertiary education, your first car or even a trip to take when matric or your studies are over.
Value of money
When you start earning your own money, you feel incredibly independant. That is, until you start spending your own money. Then you start to learn about the value of money. And that's a great thing to learn and figure out before you have to worry about paying bills and spending your money on responsibilities.
Depending on where you work, you will even get to experience the value of “minimum pay” with perks. And whether those perks are tips or discounts, they make up for the extra bucks you’re missing out on.
Holiday jobs count as experience, and experience on your CV is kind of important when it comes to applying for more permanent jobs after school. And all experience is relevant experience if you have a reference to back you up for it.
Qualities such as arriving at work on time, being friendly when dealing with customers, being able to work in a team, being able to take criticism, take initiative and take on extra tasks are great employee traits that employers look for. And the more experience you have, the better your chances are for landing a higher paying job or a promotion.
This working experience can also give you valuable insight into what you’d possibly want to do or study if you’re currently unsure. You generally get an idea of what each department does when you work in any business and may even be brought on board to help out some of the other departments if you are working as an assistant, runner or floor person.
Gaining all this experience and new skills is a great way to boost your overall confidence that you can take all the way with you into your next job.
Talking about references, when you work holiday jobs, you start creating networks and connections within the different industries. And the working world is very much influenced by who you know and who can support your CV claims.
And making sure you get to work on time teaches you to be responsible. It’s not a case of being late for a class or lecture and just slipping in the back. It will either affect your pay, your place in the boss’s good books or your job as whole, so you need to learn to be responsible.
You also learn, very quickly, to take responsibility for your actions and mistakes at work. We are only human, so it’s almost expected to mess up at some point. Just as long as you learn from it and don’t repeat it more than twice. And it’s important to own up because what you do influences the way everyone else works.
And being responsible will help you when the holidays are over and it comes to having to study hard and get your projects done.
Hand-in-hand with learning responsibility, you’ll learn about time management as well. Especially if you start working part-time and not only during the holidays because you’ll need to make time for work, study and extra murals. Learning how to spend your time wisely is another important life lesson.
If you feel that it’s too much of a commitment to give your entire holiday “away”, then the least you can do is something like volunteering. You won’t necessarily get paid for it, but volunteering for welfare organisations like Doctors Without Borders will be great and credible experience to put on your CV. You may not get to learn about the value of money through volunteering, but you will learn about the value of life and that is arguably more important.