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Early employment - working as students

12 Aralık 2011 , Pazartesi 12:11
Early employment - working as students
melis.sunay@halklailiskiler.com

Why teenagers in the US seek employment while still in high school unlike their counterparts in other countries was one of the leading topics of discussion at a recent gathering.   It’s customary and a traditional requisite to attend family get-togethers during the holidays in Turkey and the conversation at the last gathering swayed in the direction of catching up with one another, since many of the teens are at universities overseas and could not attend this gathering because they are also employed.

The first posts for teens in the US usually begin during summer vacation and move on to other free time they may have over the week-ends during the school year.   They are often employed by their relatives or neighbors, and move on to working at local diners and fast food restaurants and other local businesses, to undertake various internships and miscellaneous other jobs as they get older.   They are considered adults when they turn 18 in the US of course, at which time they take on part-time jobs related to their desired fields to prepare themselves for various forthcoming experiences following their high school graduation.

18 is an age of also having reached adulthood in Europe and in Turkey as well, but there are no stipulations set by parents for their children to work in the summer or while still in school.  That trend seems to be changing to some extent in recent years because Turkish parents are realizing that they may actually be doing a disservice to their children by keeping them at home.

One of the leading reasons for the early employment in the US is and has been to instill a sense of responsibility in the younger generation,   reinforced by parents and other family members as well as the surrounding community.   They may seek employment to help out their family as well, yet it is usually not the leading reason since it is also regarded with admiration all around.    Of course there are minimum wage laws in the US which apply to all, equally and similarly; meaning that all with similar educational background and experience would receive the same income for similar undertakings and chores.  Thus discrimination based on educational prowess is few and far between.

Many ‘well-to-do’ in Turkey, on the other hand, find it unbecoming to have their children performing menial tasks in their local community at an early age, as in various European countries.  Working at a fast-food venue for the summer could be disconcerting for many parents.  They would prefer their children to concentrate on school rather than worry about some ‘low income’ job for the sake of some menial experience.   Thus, if they were to allow their children to be employed, it would only be if the income was considered reasonable.   After all, they can afford to spoil their children.  Those working in the summer in Turkey are usually youngsters who need money and work to help out their household.  They usually quit school and enter the workforce, sometimes unfortunately, even before they finish high school.

Of course labor is also cheaper in Turkey and in Europe where individuals can find assistance from the available work force rather than have their children performs such chores.   Once ‘well-to-do’ students of influential parents are older, they can usually be placed at elevated levels in companies, regardless their experience.    Having acquaintances in the right places comes in extremely handy in Turkey and Europe, as it may in the US mainly at family companies, albeit still bound to face certain stipulations. 

Not everyone can or does enter college in Turkey, which is one of the reasons many choose to go to trade schools to prepare themselves for future prospects and opportunities.   This actually proves to be a strong foundation for many, for again, their local communities have a need for them which they can use to their advantage in the long run.

Deciding on a profession and choosing a field basically begins at the college level in the US.  Of course that can also change at any time, while attempting to receive a certain degree or even afterwards, if the expected outcome does not meet the expectations.

One of the leading advantages to early employment is facing the many disappointments at an early age when motivation and determination is still stronger than when we get older.  Subsequently, realizing one’s professional ideal and finding a suitable workplace with individuals at one’s intellectual and social level, whichever the country in the long-run, perhaps should begin when we’re younger – simply for the experience if for nothing else…

Why can’t we start life old and get younger?

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