Tired, stretched thin and worn out, any student with a job will tell you how difficult it is to work at the same time they’re going to school. Willing to bet they’ll also tell you how much they’ve learned from the situation as well.
In the simplest explanation, there’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a hard day’s work. Biblically, we can point to texts like Colossians 3:23 and Genesis 2:15 and know that work was something we were designed for. While there are days when we want nothing more than to sleep off the week, too much downtime can make us feel lazy and unproductive.
Translating this into a student’s schedule doesn’t always seem possible because of the demands class has on us. However, those with free time need to seriously consider the opportunity work provides.
For one, time management becomes a priority. Thinking ahead to the week and all you’ll need to get done becomes narrowed in when work is involved. Along with this comes being responsible with time. Showing up when you’re expected and making good use of time you spend working all come with the territory.
These skills may seem tedious at the time – no one likes to panic about having to be someplace on time. But, through repetition and discipline, they become second nature. What’s even greater is you’ll be able to use these acquired skills to market yourself to future employers.
If you have never had a job, chances are you won’t be considered over others who have for a position in the workplace. Employers consistently ask about experience in job interviews. How you may have handled a situation waiting tables could just as easily be translated into how you’re capable of multitasking. Dealing with customers in retail could be seen as taking the time to be patient with clients you serve later in life.
While monetary benefits are a part of the equation, ethical and experiential benefits are just as plentiful. Learning through experience how to remain polite when a customer is rude is just as valuable as the tip they gave you (or didn’t) at the end of a shift. Situations like those grow our understanding of the world around us. Not only are we not the only people who matter, but also we must serve people much more rude than we’d like to deal with. It creates humility in us and exemplifies a diligence we might not have been able to display before.
Ultimately, you have to learn with training wheels before you get to pedal on a road bike. Consider your college years, if you haven’t already had a job, those training wheels. Take the time to work and earn the traits sought after in life after graduation.