First Job Age?

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Diablo919, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Diablo919

    Diablo919 Senior Member

    Dayton, Ohio
    US / English
    I am curious about other cultures, what is the average age that a teenager would try and find a part-time job in other cultures? I assume throughout most of the U.S. the age would be 16ish (due to driving license ages).
  2. sayah Senior Member

    Lawrence, KS
    Spain. Spanish
    In Spain we can find a part-time job at the age of 16, but we cannot drive until we have 18
  3. AussieT New Member

    Australia, English
    Hi there!
    I'm in Australia and I got my first job at the age of 16. It isn't unusual for kids to get jobs earlier than that but you have to be at least 14. My parents never pushed me to go out and get a job, so I basically just took up a part time job for fun with my friends. The age people get a job here can really depend on the kind of family they have because if their parents don't mind paying for everything, they will usually not bother to go out and work!
    The driving age is 18 here also, but where I live there is ALOT of public transport so it is very easy to get around regardless.

  4. alexacohen

    alexacohen Banned

    Santiago de Compostela
    Spanish. Spain

    Around 16-18 years.

    That is, if the middle-class parents are wise enough not to give their children everything they ask for. If they do, no teenager in Spain will try to find a part time job, a full time job, or even a little time job.

    But spoilt teenagers are the same everywhere, or am I wrong?
  5. toolmanUF Member

    Washington, DC
    St. Petersburg, Florida, USA (English)
    In the US (at least in upper class families) I would say that it is not uncommon at all to see people who do not get a job until after they graduate from college, and possibly after graduate school.

    I know many people who went straight to college after graduating from high school and did not work while they were obtaining their undergraduate degree. Or, if they did, it was just a summer or part time job.

    I am a graduate student now, and I can assure you that I have met Americans getting a masters degree who have still never worked! And as for me, while I have two part time jobs to pay for my necessities, since I am still a full time student, I have never had a "real" 8 hours per day kind of job myself.
  6. estro Member

    I agree with you, but I remember when I was leaving school (which you can do at age 16 here) about 12 years ago, a lot of the people in my school year were going straight into jobs or apprenticeships (car mechanics, brick laying and such like) without any academic qualifications, so basically going straight from secondary school into the world of work. I live in a mainly working-class area and that used to be the norm here, but in the last 10-15 years I think things have changed quite a bit. Most people now carry on at school (= sixth form college) until 18 and more people than ever are going to university, which might seem like a good thing, but in a lot of cases it's bascially just a good way of being able to doss about for a few years longer before having to face the harsh adult world. You used to have to be exceptionally bright to get into university but now almost anyone can get in. It's almost becoming the norm, even if you're not from a middle-class family where mummy and daddy pay for everything.
    Back to the original question, when I was at high school it was normal for people who were 14 or 15 to have part-time jobs (14 is the youngest you can have one in the UK, depending on local authority by-laws) so I guess it's pretty similar now, although the average age is perhaps 16 or 17.
  7. tvdxer Senior Member

    Minnesota, U.S.A.
    Minnesota, U.S.A. - English
    Where I'm from, most kids got part-time jobs around the age of 15. The most typical first teen job is probably working at fast food establishments.
  8. lizzeymac

    lizzeymac Senior Member

    New York City
    English - USA
    Here in America you must be at least 15 years old to get working papers which are needed to get a 'on the books' job. When I was growing up many of my friends and cousins had informal jobs before they were 15, like baby-sitting or doing yard work or shoveling snow. During the summer my older cousins worked as lifeguards and food service workers at Jones Beach - one of the New York State Parks.
    My mother didn't want me to have a job during the school year - not a spoiled middle class kid, alexacohen ;-), I had a type of dyslexia and needed to focus on school work. I was what was called a 'working camper' at the summer camp I attended (12-17 years old) to defray the cost. Many of my cousins children are doing the same part-time jobs as their parents did, but a few have their own businesses like setting up and repairing computers, selling collectibles on eBay, and tutoring other kids.
  9. brian

    brian Senior Member

    AmE (New Orleans)
    I had my first real job (i.e. first job I had to pay taxes for) when I was 16, and I worked as a cashier at a grocery store. I had to get a working permit signed by my high school in order to work, and I couldn't work more than 6 hours a day or 30 hours a week (I think), until I turned 18.

    Of course, before my real job, I did odd jobs like mowing lawns and selling pecans. I'm such a southern boy. :D
  10. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    In Russia, you must be at least 14 to get a legal job. But in fact, not many employers are willing to hire teenagers.

    I started to work at 15 as a distributor with a cosmetic company. I can't remember exactly when I left this company, but it seems that it happened a year before my entering the University - just because I didn't have time for anything but exam preparation.
  11. Grop

    Grop Senior Member

    I think legal age is 16 in France (no relationship with driving license age which is 18). I have heard stories of courageous teenagers who went to the UK in summer so as to work.

    However, it is much easier to work at 18.
  12. cute angel Senior Member

    the universe
    In Algeria the driving_license is taken when the person reaches 18 ,but for job it's up to the environment and the parents they can start working at 14 as they can start working at 24 when they finish their studies.
  13. Janey UK

    Janey UK Senior Member

    Norfolk, England
    Native speaker of British English
    Well, for many young people in England their first paid employment is a morning paper delivery round, which I think they can do from when they're around 13 or 14. I say 'around' 13 or 14 because legally I think the child is supposed to be 14, but I know several children younger than that who have paper rounds. Then, by the time they get to 15 or so they can start getting 'saturday jobs', which can be anything from sweeping up and washing hair in a hairdressing salon, to stacking shelves in the local supermarket.

    I live in a rural area, so many children of around 14 earn extra money by helping on local farms (picking mushrooms and fruit etc.). Basically, I think that it all depends on how keen the parents are to instill habits of industry and self-sufficiency into their children. For every 14 year-old that works, there are probably 10 more that will put off the dreaded day when they become a wage-slave until they are well into their 20s!
  14. aslan

    aslan Senior Member

    Central Anatolia
    Turkiye Turkish
    Unemployment is a standing problem in Turkey, It is not always easy to find a job. It is actually a bit confusing. It is quite difficult to say an exact age. Depending on the economic condition of the family, people sometimes start to work even when they are cildreen.They do some easy stereet vendings. - For instance I used to sell orange juice in the bazaar when I am 8-

    But generally People prefer to wait till they graduate.If you are lucky You can pass the Student Selection Examination to start university.Some people tries to work while being university student.Except this, high school students don t work during studentship. But general tendency is to wait graduation. The age to be ready for searching a job can be defined 23-25 for university graduates and 18-20 for high school.
  15. Fernita

    Fernita Senior Member

    Buenos Aires-Argentina
    castellano de Argentina.
    When there's not enough money to support a family, children start working at the age of 12, 13 or even younger, though it is forbidden until they are 18, I guess. I'm absolutely sure that a child cannot work till he finishes secondary school. Anyway, they can have a summer job or a part time job but it wouldn't be legally accepted.

    It also depends on the family education, regardless the social class. It is very rewarding to earn your own money and parents should encourage their children to do so. On the other hand, it is sometimes better to let your kids study and finish their university career in order to be well prepared at the time of working and hence, not making the career a never-ending issue. While they are attending the last years at university, students can do internships which are usually not paid but very useful indeed.
  16. mirx Banned

    In México it's not encouraged at all for teenagers to work, that a teenager works has little to do with his parents economic situation. I myself started working when I was 15 years old, and this was only after a hard convincing labour with my mother who thought it was "inappropiate" for me to work as other people might think my father couldn't support the family. Which was by no means the case, I did it because it somehow gave me more independence from my parents.

    You can list my sister there, she never worked as a teenager and the work experience she's got has been acquired during her school interships. And yes, my parents did give us everything we wanted, but then again, we never wanted anything they couldn't give us.

    Most students in México won't work until they have finished college. I am talking of course of middle class families.

    The legal age for kids to work is 14 but I haven't known of any employer who legally hires a 14, 15, or even a 16 year old as there are a lot of restrictions on what they can do and special care has to be given to them as well. Provisional driving permits are issued at 16, exceptions apply and permits could be given to even younger teenagers.

  17. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    The same goes for Russia. I remember that when I was 15 I decided to earn some money during my summer holidays and when to a nearby restaurant (guess its name if you can :p) Its advertisiment said they hire people of 14+, but when the manager saw that I was only 15, her face showed pretty clearly I can go and look for some other job.:rolleyes:
  18. nanel Senior Member

    Madrid (Spain)
    Spain (Spanish)
    This is very common in Spain. I never worked until I finished studying, and neither did any of my friends. I didn't need to and the thought of working never crossed my mind. I know this probably sounds awful and lazy to a lot of you, but it was that way for everyone I knew, so it wasn't an option we thought about.

    There were people that took a summer job to get some extra money because they wanted to spend it later in something, but that was all. For me, studying was my job.

    It's now that I have discovered how different this is in other countries. Not in this thread, but some years ago, when I was already working. And I liked it. Or maybe just something in between :)
  19. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    I think it's a good idea for a teenager to earn money - it's really fascinating when you buy something for the money you have earned.

    But when a kid or a teenager must give all their time to work in order to just survive, it's not right.:(
  20. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    In Austria the legal age is 14 - everything below counts as (illegal) child work.
    (There is some illegal child work even though Austria is one of the 'developped' countries, but it isn't a huge problem here. Mainly it occurs inside families where children help their parents with farm work, honored occasionally with money, and in tourism where children might help serving guests or making beds in the hotel of their parents.)

    Depending on the social circumstances many have their first part-time jobs already with 15-16 years - if their parents aren't well-off.
    (Drivers licence you get here at 18 only, or with 17 only under certain circumstances, but children here in this country already want to spend lots of money at the age of 14 years, you know, and even earlier ... there's mobile phones, computer games, clothing, etc. - you name it.)

    Kids of richer parents tend to start their first jobs much later: they probably don't even take on jobs while studying at university and only apply for a 'proper job' after they've finished their degree. (There are some parents who think that their children should take on part-time jobs even if they don't need them, financially.)
  21. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    That and babysitting are the first jobs for many young people in the US. My brother had a paper route after school when he was 11, and I did briefly when I was 12. It was considered a good way to learn responsibility and to handle money.

    I gave up my paper route after 6 months or so because I kept getting chased by a German shepherd. I switched to babysitting, like a lot of other girls from about age 12 through high school (18). It was a different kind of dangerous. ;)

    Most of the kids I knew started working in "real" jobs (cashier, waitress, cleaning, etc.) by about age 16. I was proud to pay for most (though not all) of my own needs by 17. I would have been embarrassed to ask my parents for money, and they probably would have wanted to know why I didn't have any of my own saved up.

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