Life can be hard. That’s the simple reality of it. Whether it’s at home, school, work or with friends; at some point we reach hurdles. Saving up for university? Helping out at home? Want to buy a new pair of Nikes? Whatever the reason for wanting to work, you should weigh the pros and cons of this decision. Let me bore you with my view on having a job during sixth form. You may wonder if it’s possible to work and manage schoolwork and extracurriculars and somehow simultaneously have a life - it seems like an awful lot for a mere teenager. Well let me tell you - it is very much possible. Having a job means you gain a plethora of exposure to what life after school may look like, alongside the skills you obtain can transfer into other aspects of your life.

One of the main concerns is the ability to manage your time, and this is something that is unique to each individual. Some may find that you can work 20 hours over the weekend and still give yourself enough time to work. Others would realise they’re doomed to late nights of maths homework because they didn’t leave themselves enough time in the day (and it was most definitely not spent on Netflix…) and can’t actually work that many hours. Nevertheless, having a job enables you to learn how to adjust your schedule to squeeze other aspects of your life. If there’s a good time to get a job, it’s the summer of Year 11. It gives you the chance to adjust to the work environment and gain experience without having to juggle school. When you do go back after summer, you’ve likely established a good routine and can immediately get into the flow of managing your time. Decided to go on holiday to the south of Spain over summer instead? Nothing to worry about! You can still get a job at any point during your education. It doesn’t even have to be intense - tutoring a family friend’s child for an hour or two a week can give you a kick start on the earning side of things.

We have to remember though, having a job is a demanding aspiration and before getting one, its impact on all aspects of your life should be considered. Having a weekend job can compromise your social life. Perhaps Saturdays are when you take a trip to the local cinema to catch a film with your mates. Or maybe, Sundays are your reset days when you pull your life together again, ready to tackle the next week. It will take careful thought as to what you’re planning to sacrifice and whether it’s in your best interest. Having those days off means you can keep on track with things like your mental health, academic journey and your overall well being. If you think working will put you in a position where you’re unhappy, it may be important to consider prioritising such things first.

But what if you don’t have the luxury of choosing? For some, having a job means supporting themselves or their family in making ends meet. Whether it's to help pay bills, buy groceries or fund one’s education, some may find themselves in difficult conditions where having a job is no longer a choice, but a necessity. It is crucial for these individuals to find and maintain a balance between working and having a personal life.

Overall, I think having a job during sixth form is an invaluable opportunity. You get to expand your knowledge, learn new skills, communicate with people of different ages and backgrounds and a host of new opportunities to progress in the future. It can allow you to grow and gain experiences which will stay with you throughout your life, giving you chances to learn from your mistakes and shape your success. If having a job is something you can incorporate into your life, it is a remarkable shot at gaining independence in life and insight into managing your finances. I hope this article has provided you with an idea of what having a job during sixth form entails and can feed into your decision when it comes to it.