An after-school job brings you money, memories and maturity

diane_bartrum_courier_and_postie (3)There can be a lot of pressure on once school starts up again… the homework, keeping up with friends on Facebook and surfing the TV channels!

So why would you want to find an after-school job? It’s a tough time to find a job of any kind and if Mum and Dad are supporting you, you may think you’re better off without one.

But you may be missing out. Looking back, it was the after-school and holiday jobs – the paper and junk mail round, the gift store work, the babysitting, and the fruit picking – that set the scene for some of my fondest memories. Not just for memories, but all sorts of valuable skills were learned like relating to people in a multitude of situations, gaining skills, saving and budgeting, and gaining a sense of independence and responsibility.

A sense of pride from earning it yourself

I was 12 when I got my first ever paid job delivering the local newspaper and junk mail.

Getting my first pay packet – knowing it was my own hard earned cash – and that I was saving up for something special, a bicycle, was very exciting. (There were regular deposits being made into the savings account, but I hadn’t yet weaned myself off a sweet tooth and trips to the dairy for toffee milks!)

To help the cause Mother promised she’d match the amount I saved, which sounds like the forerunner to Kiwi Saver doesn’t it? Anyway, so great was the sense of pride when I bought that secondhand bike that I cleaned and polished it ‘til it shone.

A thing or two learned from a magpie

Then there was the weekend gift shop job. An elderly businesswoman, who I swear was from the magpie family, had everything imaginable in that shop: silver and gold jewellery of every description crowded the cabinets, and the aisles overflowed with knicks and knacks. The walls too were heavily lined with prints she’d taught me to frame in between serving customers. Though outwardly my job was about creating order from chaos, at heart it was a double take:

In just a few months, the magpie had honed in me a set of hawk eyes that could detect anyone who even contemplated making off with a trinket or two from her overcrowded nest.

No parties allowed at the babysitters

The domestic nest always offered a ready supply of after-school work too. Babysitting jobs weren’t hard to find and were probably the best type of job on offer because they were easy money. The kids were in bed so you could have the evening to yourself. Still, there was the recognition that you couldn’t just leave the house and meet up with friends or bring those friends around and dial up a party at the babysitters. No, you learned respect for your employer!

Time is money

But it was the fruit picking that did it for me…ah yes, the summer cherry picking job at the Blenheim based orchards of the closed Brethren. Being around the Brethren themselves was a lesson in good old-fashioned work ethics. And, being paid by the bin you certainly learned the value of time, knowing that if you stopped off too long to gorge yourself with sweet, ripe red cherries you’d jeopardise your daily earnings!

Find out more about how to get an after-school job

It’s often just the first steps towards getting a job that can be the hardest. Take a minute to look at our CV templates – save a copy, put in your own information and simply take it into stores, businesses, and families which you think may need the sort of skills you have. You’ll be surprised at how many opportunities arise!

In my next blog you can read up about how my colleague Felicity landed her after-school and holiday jobs and used them to focus on a career choice.

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