What it takes to work a job as a teenager

Story by Ava Conn, Features Editor

There are countless benefits to working a job as a teenager, but it is important to know what it takes and means to be an employee as a minor. 

The California labor laws allow for job-seekers from the age of 14 and up to legally seek jobs with the requirement of obtaining a state-issued work permit. Work permits are issued by the school that the minor is attending and must be signed by the employer and their parent/guardian. It is illegal for a minor to work without a work permit, and they must renew their permit every school year. After one has completed these requirements, they are eligible to apply for a job as a minor.

Currently, the minimum wage in California can range anywhere from 14-15 dollars an hour depending on the number of employees. However, businesses such as McDonald’s are advertising positions at a starting wage of $17 an hour. While businesses are desperate for workers, the opportunities for jobs have grown tremendously in the last few years.

Having a job while being a teenager not only teaches you many important life skills but it forces you to put yourself in a completely new environment with the expectation of adapting to those changes. Along with that, finding a job that suits your interests can help you decide on a career in the future. 

Sophomore Jordynn Joiner explains that, “It’s a great learning opportunity, specifically with your future. Especially if you have a job that has to do with something you want to do in the future, like agricultural stuff like what I’m doing and other things like that.” Jordynn says that working at Eco Valley Ranch has been a great experience in helping prepare her for the job she wishes to pursue when she’s older.

Working a job while being a student does have its difficulties. Senior Anna Liese has worked five different jobs throughout high school and is currently working two jobs.

Anna Liese shared “There have definitely been times where I’ve focused more on school than I did work and there have also been times where I’ve focused more on work than school. There has to be a balance.” 

Being able to stay on top of both school and work can be challenging. However, it is crucial to be able to navigate these difficulties by learning the ability of good time management. 

Jordynn explained that, “It’s stressful to an extent with homework after school and stuff like that but generally, I am able to balance both my work life and my school life. And I’m able to work at home after I’m done with work or on the days I have off so I’m able to balance my hours.”

For teenagers living in Auburn, there are several local part-time jobs available to them. Ranging anywhere from being a grocery store clerk to working at a fast-food restaurant there are countless opportunities to find the work that they are best suited for.