What you need to know about working after high school
Studying after high school isn’t for everyone.
Some students might be tired of school or just don’t enjoy learning under teacher-student environments. Some might want to take a break before returning to full time study. Others might not have their entire future planned out at 17 like the school system expects us to.
Now, don’t get us wrong. We’re not refuting furthering your education – the StudyTime member writing this article is working towards their degree – but in 2019, we acknowledge and totally welcome the fact that university is not the only option.
If you’re someone who wants to work after high school, whatever your reason may be, it’s a valid one. In doing so, your path to success might be clearer than it ever could have been.
You can earn – and save – money
Tertiary study will cost you or your family a heck of a lot of money. Even if your tuition is paid for, you will still need money for food, books, trips, devices, leisure expenses, and maybe even rent.
Because of this, students tend to get themselves in huge piles of student loan debt if they’re not careful with their spending.
Working without having to study alongside it gives you the opportunity to earn heaps of money without getting yourself in debt. Depending on goals you may have, with your hard-earned money you could travel, pursue creative interests, or even put a down payment on a house (whilst eating your avo on toast).
Even if you do decide to return to study, working for even a year will give you the chance to save up for those student expenses, making student loans (should you have any) significantly less.
You will gain life and work experience
Tertiary providers are fairly sheltered environments. Often studying straight after school, you end up hanging out with similar types of people you hung out with in high school. Even if personalities differ, you will probably find yourself in a group of people who are the same age as you, doing the same things you are doing.
While there’s nothing wrong with this, something that the workforce offers is exposing you to a wider range of people. Your coworkers’ ages, socioeconomic backgrounds and personal goals will be different from your own, and this is a good thing. You’ll gain life knowledge from them, and in turn can offer your own.
Working also allows you to learn and enhance skills. Even if you don’t plan on pursuing a career in what you’re doing, you’ll still acquire helpful skills that future employers will value.
For example, you might not enjoy waitressing at a busy restaurant, but you will learn how to multitask and communicate well with customers; skills that are transferable in any work environment.
You will learn more about yourself and your interests
Not all of us know what we want to do when we’re out of high school, and this is okay.
Taking time to work after high school will give you time to think about possible career choices, or even if returning to study is right for you. You can give yourself more time to research different professions or even secure an internship or apprenticeship at a company to see if it’s what you’d like to do.
You’ll also learn a lot about yourself, like what you like and dislike, and how you work best. You know extremely successful comedian and philanthropist, Ellen DeGeneres? She went to university, but dropped out after one semester.
It was working as a house painter, a vacuum salesperson, an oyster shucker and multiple other part-time jobs that she honed in on her true passion. She then decided to make a name for herself at comedy clubs when she wasn’t working at night, and thus, the 12-days-of-giveaways Santa was born.
You will make connections
Entering the workforce early allows you to build a network of professional contacts. Building strong relationships with employers or colleagues can come in handy later when you need letters of recommendation or referees.
You may be performing so well that your employer offers you a better position within the company. Not only will you be able to make connections with people in higher positions, you will also be able to build on your own repertoire.
Or, someone you meet at your job might also be able to introduce you to someone in your preferred career path, opening doors of opportunity. Remember, people come from all sorts of backgrounds. Just be kind, be respectful, and be you, and you’ll get the same in return. Good karma FTW!
Whether you choose to study or work, you do what feels best for you.
It’s important to be respectful of others’ decisions as well as our own. It doesn’t matter what you start, as long as you’re starting something.