What are the benefits of being in employment?
It might not seem like it at times but being in employment can do wonders for your mental health and more
It’s not always easy to break into the world of work as a young person. There are no shortage of voices out there that will say you should get a job, but less that will tell you why. Sometimes you might wonder whether it’s worth the effort, or whether people in work really are better off than those who aren’t. Below are some of the main reasons it’s good to be in employment, whether for your cash levels, your health, or your future opportunities.
Why should I get a job?
The clearest benefit of a job is the money that comes with it. This might seem like an obvious point, but don’t underestimate the value of having your own steady stream of income. A weekly wage doesn’t just cover your rent and expenses today: it’s by far the best way to make sure you’ll still be covered tomorrow.
If you can’t get a job the State does provide you with money to meet your basic needs through jobseeker’s payments. However, these payments are low compared with what you would earn in a job and depend on you always being on the lookout for work. This is especially true for young people, as you get a much lower rate of welfare if you’re under 26.
If you’re ever offered a job and you’re not sure if the pay will leave you better off than if you stayed on welfare, you can use the Benefit of Work ready reckoner. It calculates in-work taxes and benefits for you and compares the money you’d really be earning in work with what you get in jobseeker’s payments. So long as your potential employer is offering at least the minimum wage the ready reckoner should show you benefiting from taking the job.
Health benefits of being in employment
Having a job is good for you. So long as your conditions of work are fair and you’re not working in a dangerous environment, employment benefits your mental and physical health. Being in work boosts your self-esteem by giving you a day-to-day purpose. It also gives you a clear and direct way to contribute to something bigger than just yourself; whether that’s a business, the economy, or society at large. It’s much easier to be a happy, self-fulfilled person if you feel you have purpose and are contributing to the world.
Employment is also good for mental health in that it helps structure your time, gives you opportunities to meet people and ideally lets you feel satisfied with a job well done. It also makes you less likely to fall into debt or stress about making ends meet, both of which can have major health implications. People in work are also less likely to develop harmful addictions, become depressed or die at a younger-than-average age.
Security and looking ahead
You may not know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life, but you probably have some idea of the type of place you’d like to live, the hobbies you want to have time for, and so on. Having a job makes it easier to plan your future on your own terms and work towards whatever goals you set for yourself. A steady, reliable income gives you the security you need to stop worrying about the present and start focusing on your future.
Not every job is secure and lasting, but every job you work should make it easier to get your next one. Building up a history of employment gives you a stronger C.V. which in turn makes it easier to get into better, more well-paid work. Every job can be a stepping stone to your next one, and each one you have can bring you one step closer to something you really love or that provides the resources for you to pursue another passion.
Need more information?
Talk through your own situation or get another point of view. Our online chat service for 16 to 25 year olds is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm.