Summer jobs shouldn't just fill the time between terms when you're in full time education; they can have an impact on your life and career in ways you simply don’t know at the time.
Never underestimate what those days spent as a cashier, a waitress or lifeguard can have on your future. What you learn and who you spend the time with can stick with you and influence your decisions for years. Here are some lessons, from simple to complicated; you can glean from that summer job…
- Show up and don’t be late – yep, simple lessons but important. Punching a time clock and having a tough boss are good teachers.
- Do what it takes – “Not my job” is not usually part of the summer job lexicon. “Special projects” are now on your resume.
- Make friends/ build relationships – summer friends can be ones that last a lifetime and those types of friendships may never happen again.
- Stay in shape – whether the activity is reading, exercising or thinking, a summer job can show you that it’s easy to get out of shape.
- Be observant – looking around at what other’s do, who is happy in their work and who is not and who makes a difference is easy to spot, even in a summer job.
- Think of closure and what’s next – summer jobs end and the closure is a good feeling but you have to plan about what to do in September. Planning is a key skill to develop.
- Builds character - doing things that you may not want to do can make you more disciplined and appreciative.
- Make life long career decisions – summer jobs can be the best way to decide what you don’t want to do for a career.
- Save money – budgeting during the summer so that you have some money for the rest of the year is a skill you won’t forget.
- Be on your own – some jobs require you to be out from under the safety net of college or the parents.
- Discover yourself - you will learn who you want to be-it can be that time when you see others and say, “I want to be that person.”
Even though temporary, that summer job may be the best job you will ever have.
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This article originally published on LinkedIn here.