Summer is a time when lots of students take their chance to get some professional experience by becoming an intern or seasonal worker. This time of the year usually offers lots of opportunities for everybody who is interested in gaining valuable experience and earning extra money. However, despite the fact that many are happy to have a job for a summer they still don't take it seriously in terms of career planning. We believe that such underestimation of this kind of jobs can have a negative effect on your career as it can give more than just extra cash. In this article, we would like to list several reasons why you should take a summer job more seriously.
What's In It?
Obviously, a summertime job isn't meant to be a long term career plan. It is also not only about getting some extra cash although that may be a part of the motivation. First of all, a seasonal job allows you to gain some new skills and experience you will need in the shortest future to pursue the position you want. We all know that employers want much more than just a bachelor's or master's degree, hiring authorities are always looking for practical experience. Pretty much any summertime job can teach you to work in a team, to be flexible and initiative. Those are things you will unlikely learn in a college. This is about practicing what you have learned in school. If you do well, you can secure references which can help you make another step in your career plan. No matter whether you are a cashier, lifeguard or bartender, there are always opportunities to network with people.
In one way or another, you will meet and interact with local professionals and maybe even industry executives. If you manage to make a good and lasting impression on people like this you might use this as an opportunity when looking for other jobs. Some summertime jobs allow for more networking than others, but most of them have room for that. So use the chance of getting to know people better during your seasonal employment. We are not saying you should ask clients in a coffee shop whether they have any spots available at their companies. This kind of approach will never bring any positive result. You should connect with repeat customers and patrons on a personal level and then as you finish your seasonal work you could ask them if you could add them to your network list. It is always a good idea to ask for feedback if you are not given one. This might be handy not only for future job search efforts but in the context of self-evaluation and self-improvement. Ask about what you did well and what things could be done better. You could also ask your supervisor if he/she could become your reference if you did a good job.
Check our new article on how seasonal jobs matter on a resume for more insight.