Internship, camps, and special programs are all great ways to spend your summer. But what about those of you who are stuck at home, working that same old summer job? Don’t sell yourself short. Having a summer job can be valuable in jumpstarting your future career. Here are some ways to make the most of that summer job.
Take it seriously. It can be tempting to fool around at a summer job — you’re just trying to pay your way to a real job, right? Wrong. Even if you’re stocking shelves at a grocery store, you’ll have the opportunity to practice real-time problem-solving skills to eventually take with you into the workplace. Take your job seriously, no matter what it is.
Stay positive. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: the best thing you can do is approach every job you take on with a positive attitude. I was lucky enough to get my first “big kid” job right out of college. The reason? My supervisors at my old work study job got a call from the hiring manager. They remembered my positive approach to working, and told the hiring manager she’d be crazy not to hire me. People remember a positive attitude.
Ask for more responsibility. Do you wish you had more to do at your summer job? Ask! There is no harm in asking your supervisor if you can take on other projects that are more in line with your future career goals. They might say no, but they’ll definitely respect your initiative, which could lead to a small raise or other positive outcomes.
Don’t let it rule your life. At the end of the day, a job is just a job. Family, friends, and future goals are all important things to devote your time to. If a job is truly overtaxing or shifting your focus away from the things that are most important to you, it may not be worth it. Take a look at what you’re putting in and getting out of your job, and evaluate its value in your life.
Some of my favorite summer jobs were also the simplest, like working at an ice cream counter or waiting tables. Are you spending your summer working? What’s your job, and how do you try to make the most of it?
Written by Nicole Milano. Nicole is a writer and yoga instructor from Rochester, N.Y., as well as a freelance writer for NextStepU. Read more from her at The Everyday Yogi and tweet her @nicolemariemil.
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