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How to juggle school and work

April 1, 2019

One of the most important things to consider when looking for a job is to find one that’ll work around your school schedule.

Before you even start looking, establish your goals and limitations, and tell your potential employer exactly what you’re looking for.

Number of hours

For high school students, we generally recommend working no more than 20 hours a week—or less depending on your grades and priorities.

Estimate how many hours a week you spend at school or studying and doing extracurriculars, and setting priorities. If you’re on a sports team, for example, you may not be able to work as many hours as someone who isn’t.

Work schedule

Your work schedule should respect your other commitments. This depends on:

  • The day of the week
  • The time of day
  • Mid-terms and finals
  • Vacation
  • Etc.

For instance, if you finish work late during the week it may have an impact on your academic performance, even if you work fewer than 20 hours a week.

Useful tidbits

  • If you’re 16 years old or younger, you cannot work between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. or during school hours.
  • Employers aren’t obligated to offer coffee break to their employees, but if they do, they have to pay them.
  • You’re entitled to a 30-minute break when you work 5 consecutive hours.
  • You’re entitled to at least 32 consecutive hours free from work each week.