Finding a job isn’t on every student’s mind when they plan their summer. Some don’t need the money whilst others simply can’t be bothered. But there are lots of ways a summer job can be a boost to your educational and professional careers.
Here are 6 reasons that should convince you to get a summer job:
The first and most obvious incentive is money. Travelling, university, driving lessons, rent - there are plenty of things to save for.
2. Experiencing the workplace
Workplaces are not the same as education institutions. For example, employers tend to have less tolerance of employees arriving late or being dressed sloppily than teachers do of their students.
You may find that you have a great boss and co-workers, or you might find the opposite - either way the likelihood is that you’ll need to get on with the people you work with if you want to get promoted.
3, Learn new skills
If you are working in a traditional teen position in retail or another service job, you can learn a lot about both leading and following others, independence, and initiative.
No matter how simple your summer job may seem, by learning new skills, surviving a stressful work environment and learning to deal with coworkers, you will certainly build your confidence. Your summer job could be the first time you forge an identity beyond your home or school; it can massively build your confidence to find you are capable of working independently, away from your peers.
4. Try out a career
A summer job is a great way of trying out a potential career path - up to a certain point. You’re not going to fulfil your dream of flying a commercial aeroplane in a single summer but, by entering the workplace, you may find you enjoy a particular aspect of work which could develop into a career. For example, you could learn a bit about what it's like to be a teacher if you have to train junior staff at a restaurant.
5. Work experience
If you want to pursue certain vocational training like Medicine or Architecture, relevant work experience is essential. If you can find a summer job which is somehow related to your chosen career path, then this will provide you with both an income, and great experience to mention on an application.
Looking for a paid summer job is often slightly trickier than an unpaid work experience placement as you’ll be expected to perform tasks, and therefore require skills and/or qualifications, rather than simply needing to shadow someone. Therefore, when looking for relevant summer jobs, you’ll need to think more broadly about what jobs might be relevant to your field rather than focusing narrowly on your eventual goal. For example, if you want to be a GP you might be able to work in a care home over the summer - a job which would still be relevant on any Medicine application.
6. Boost your CV
When you come to apply for more long term placements, your summer job will make an excellent addition to your CV. It shows you’re eager to put yourself out there and make the most of your time, even during the holidays. Having already entered the workplace, you will be one step ahead of many other applicants your age.