Weekend jobs can be a vital part of a young person’s toolkit, teaching them life skills such as managing money and learning how to adapt in certain social situations.
Yet, with many parents divided in opinion, we asked a variety of adults to explain first-hand what they thought to weekend jobs.
Laura Evans-Fisk, 28, a Senior Account Manager from Carlton in North Yorkshire.
“I worked at the local village pub on a Sunday for around 4-5 hours. I started as a washer-upper, then ended up as head waitress, then chef and then when I was old enough I ran the bar. I first started when I was around 13/14 and I finally left when I was 22.
“The job topped up my pocket money and gave me confidence and independence, plus it taught me the value of money. I also learnt how to deal with awkward customers and how to run a business.
“In terms of school work, I think it probably made me work harder because I didn’t want to wash pots for the rest of my life! It also forced me to structure my time more, and to stop procrastinating, because I didn’t have the time to.
“It definitely gave me the confidence I needed to develop and believe in myself. If I could run a pub full of 50 drunken cricketers, keep them all in check, throw out underage drinkers, and stop grown men from dancing on tables, at just 21, I was pretty sure I could take on anything! It influenced my path as I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do.”
Matthew Fraser, 25, a Senior Account Executive from Manchester
“I had a number of jobs form the age of 14; I did a paper round for a couple of years and then seasonal work at my local football club.
“I didn’t have to have a job and my parents never forced me to. I’m so glad I did; it really teaches the value of money, hard work, life skills such as working in teams, communication and determination. It also gives you a sense of purpose and helps you to develop life and people skills that you may not learn in school.
“My parents were strict and made it clear that a job couldn’t affect my schoolwork, which made me more determined to be organised and balance responsibilities.
“The part-time jobs I had as a teenager taught me to appreciate my current job. After working night shifts and weekends, I now enjoy my 9-5 role and really make the most of weekends and family time.”
Kate Lowcock, 31, a Dispensing Optician from Burnley, Lancashire
“I worked every Saturday in my auntie’s independent opticians practice from the age of 15. I started on reception and then went on to train to be a dispensing optician.
“I learnt the value of money, and, if anything, it gave me positive life skills such as developing good social skills through working with the general public and money handling.
“It had a huge impact on my career path, as I was originally planning on going to university to study a degree in Psychology and Criminology, but instead chose to continue in the optician industry.”
Benjamin Chapman, 32, a bank manager from Leeds
“As a teenager I did have a weekend job and, while it did help me to understand the value of money and hard work somewhat, I now see that I was getting paid almost nothing for something that was taking a lot of time out of my studies and games.
“As a parent, I think that it is important to consider whether your child is ready or not and whether they can afford to take the time out of their studies, as this needs to be the first priority.
“It is also important for young children to spend time with their friends and to have time for adequate rest as their lives can be hectic. It is most definitely a delicate balance.”
Charlotte Taylor, 26, an office worker from Leeds
“Throughout my teenage years I had a number of part time jobs, ranging from babysitting to glass collecting and waitressing. Coming from a single parent family it was important for me to have a job in order to be able to have my own money to buy the clothes or other nice things I wanted. I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom that having a job gave me, however I do regret the amount of hours I spent working.
“The negative side of having a weekend job was that at times I found myself enjoying work more than school and occasionally homework or revision didn’t feel as much of a priority. My advice to other students thinking of getting a part time job whilst at school would be to make sure you get the balance right. It’s important to remember that at school we are still ultimately children and education should come first! You might enjoy the extra money at the time, but getting higher grades at school will ultimately mean you’ll get a better job in the end.”