Throughout our lives, we are conditioned to understand the word ‘summer’ to be a verbal signature of liberty, a vast expanse of free time to fill up with anything that we wish. It’s the time for holidays, parties and wasting time on the internet. But the sad truth about the world is that summer eventually stops being that safe haven for juvenile idiocy and social overload. The sad truth is the summer eventually becomes the best time to get a job.
Though the words ‘student’ and ‘job’ are rarely glimpsed together in a sentence, getting work should be the most important thing about summer when you’re in between semesters at college. So, I’ve put together a few tips from both my own experiences and the wisdom of others to help those of you desperate to break into any kind of industry in the hopes that it will break that terrible summer sleeping pattern, and might actually top up your account enough so that you can actually do things other than stay indoors.
Ask a Friend
Unless your social group is one of exceptional herculean laziness, the likelihood is that a couple of your friends already have jobs. Don’t overlook what they can offer, especially if they know their companies quite well. Many companies advertise vacancies internally before broadcasting them to the public, meaning that it is employees who hear about job opportunities first. Your friends may know about some job vacancies that you don’t, so don’t be afraid to ask them. Also, many employers are keen to interview candidates that have been recommended for the position by somebody inside the company – make sure your friends put in a good word for you!
Look for Jobs Designed for Students
If you’re a little too busy – or your life is a little too unpredictable – to commit to a full-time, or even a regular part-time job, you’ll want to search for work that is designed to fit the unpredictable time schedule of a student. Typically, retail offers a great opportunity for a student to earn some money, and committing to a retail position permanently shouldn’t clash with classes, due to their flexible hours. Working at music festivals or at a bar is a great way to earn a decent amount of money in a short time, in a position that is almost like socializing.
Get an Internship
If you’re scouring the depths of the occupational field for something more beneficial to your future career than just the standard bar staff and shop assistant positions, it might be worth thinking about doing an internship. Though most internships are unpaid, they offer an easy way into a higher field of work, as it is usually large companies that offer these positions. Internships look great on your resumé simply because they stand out, and if you learn some things about the field in which you work there, you have a huge amount of ammunition for any upcoming interviews that you may be nervous about. Plus, employers get giddy about a young person that is working towards a career rather than just the weekend.
Work from Home
There are plenty of opportunities to stay in the comfort of your home and still earn some spends for those crazy summer nights. Though they mostly come in the form of paid surveys – which, despite being easy, are also very time consuming – the best online jobs come in the form of article writing and outreach emailing. A lot of webzines have ‘write for us’ pages, so if you are a budding writer with an appetite for a certain field – whether it is leisure, sports, electronics or even beauty and fashion – a fun way to earn money is to contact sites looking for writers. Don’t be afraid to show off any articles you get published in a portfolio either.
Perform Live Music
Okay, so this last option is a little more exclusive than the previous four, mainly because you’ll actually have to be able to play some sort of instrument, or be able to sing, to do it. If you are lucky enough to be blessed with a musical ear and a love for the charts, it is always worth getting together with some friends and performing covers of popular songs. Most venues will pay handsomely for a band that builds a reputation for playing some brilliant live versions of the classics, and if you’re confident enough, you can move into the wedding market. However, you’ll have to split the pay between your band mates, and finding gigs can be very inconsistent. Still, this is probably one of the most fun ways to make a living.
The important thing to remember about summer jobs is that if they are making your life a living hell, you still have a chance to opt out and quit – after all, this isn’t your actual career. Make the most of college, and don’t let work get in the way of performing to your best in the exams. Even so, it sure is nice to have an extra bit of cash lying about when your party sense is tingling.
Jonathan Taylor is a student, working as a writer for Euroforce Ltd, as well as freelancing for a number of media-based online magazines. He is currently studying English over in sunny old England, and spends a lot of his time worrying about not knowing what he wants to do after his degree.