Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Reasons Why Working Before You are 20 Builds Character

Coming to college as someone who had worked a variety of part-time jobs in the past, it surprised me to see how many people had yet to work at all. Although many people are fortunate enough not to have to get a job until they are well into college, nothing says ‘building character’ like working a part-time job in your hometown.

Whether it’s working in retail or the food service industry, getting a job before you get to college is one of the best decisions I made, though it wasn’t necessarily by choice. Here are a couple reasons why I think everyone should try a part-time job before they enter the college world. 


Baseline, nothing is better than having a little extra cash in your pockets. Especially if you score a job on tips, you will be golden. In high school, I was always trying to get odd jobs around town to save a couple of extra bucks to use for clothes, food or beverages. It also initiates the early lesson of saving your money and budgeting for the things you want. Trust me, as a broke college student, it’s worthwhile to get those saving skills down pat.


People Skills

Working in the service industry is one of the best ways to build up your people skills. Having to interact with customers, deal with their needs and manage the occasional ‘Karen’, are great skills to have under your belt. It humbles you a lot — being yelled at by an annoyed mom looking for a reservation on the busiest night of the year. It teaches you how to be a decent human being. It will also allow you to use those skills in your own life. When you go to a restaurant or shop retail, you will know how to treat other people who’s shoes you’ve walked in.

Management Skills

I am someone who craves structure and an organized schedule. So, having a part-time job, both during breaks and throughout the school year, gave me the needed time constraints to plan my very chaotic life.

Knowing how to manage your time before you enter college will save your life, especially when it comes to balancing life, classes and a future career. These attributes also make for good talking points in future job interviews to show how you are able to manage many different tasks while maintaining a calm work environment.

Networking abilities

The best part of part-time jobs is the amount of people you meet. Working at a job in the service industry, like serving or hosting, will provide you with a lot of opportunities to meet some important people and give you the chance to let them get to know you.

The fun part is when you know someone in common and open up, the conversation to become more casual. You will not only improve your communications skills, but you might even score another job. 


Need to find a new group of people who share the struggle of getting through the work day? Look no further than getting a part-time job. You will meet a ton of new, and definitely interesting, people that will make going to work so much more fun. Even if they aren’t your future best friends, they will be people you will remember forever, even if it means getting a good story out of it

Current Junior at PSU UP. I live right outside of DC in Bethesda, MD and I am on track to be an Advertising and Public Relations major with a minor in Business I love sitcoms, stand-up and spend my time hanging out with friends and traveling.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️