Sonia Dogra

So, its holiday time for the hill stations. With winter chill setting in, a long break in schools of Shimla is a matter of envy for students in other parts of the country. At the same time we are at a loss and keep wondering how to put this long vacation to good use.

In the West it is a rather popular idea for young children to earn their little pocket money by helping around during their off time. The idea has several benefits. To name just a few.

  1. Work Experience for Students. Part time jobs give students an opportunity to earn a little pocket money for themselves and gain work experience which can later on be a part of their resume.
  2. Develop Useful Skills. Skills developed during part time work can be very useful during your later on career days.
  3. Gives you a Break. A part time job gives one the needed break from student life and also gives a flavour of life out of school or college.
  4. Improves Grading. Don’t be surprised! Working helps you to manage your time and focus on your work. You no longer feel that you have all the time in the world to finish a task and learn to do maximum in minimum time range.
  5. Competitive Advantage as Adults. Recent studies prove that teenagers who work during holidays gain a competitive advantage as adults. Early exposure to work also helps to understand work and career preferences. At the same time you gain experience to face the real world.

Having cited the above reasons, let us talk of holiday work culture in our own country. There isn’t much of part time holiday work culture among teenagers in India. To begin with we need to understand that a teen working during holidays does not in any way fall in the category of child labour. Here is a young boy/girl who is ready to learn what it is like to earn for yourself and how different work culture can be.

There are certain places that have come up in metro cities that offer a day’s work experience to you and allow you to eat at the junction at subsidised rates besides paying for your hard work. However it will take a few more years before we readily accept the idea.

But this holiday season you can “earn your holiday” by bringing home some interesting work for yourself. Does dad’s car need a wash? Well, you can be there for the car wash once or twice a week and add a decent amount to your pocket money.

Ever wondered what it takes your mom to finish all her household chores and then get to the market for groceries. Why not lend a helping hand. Offer to go out and get those veggies for her.

You can decide on a nominal tip for doing the task and maybe treat yourself to something delicious while on the task. It can be a good outing and you add enough experience to gradually pick up the best in the basket.

I’m sure there are some of those naughty children in your neighbourhood who need to fill up their time during these vacations. So if you are a musician, pass it on; if you are good at sports get together the lot and teach them the rules of the game; do you have a collection of some good story books? How about an hour of storytelling to keep the tiny tots around your house occupied. In return you can charge them by asking their mothers to dish out a sumptuous meal once in a while for you.

The idea will help not only to utilise time constructively and become self sufficient but also expose you to the problems that may come along and give you a fair idea of how to deal with them. As you wonder how to pull along a long winter vacation, this exercise is definitely one to keep you productively occupied. Wish you happy holidays and happy work experience!

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