Wednesday, July 5, 2017

5 ways your summer job will help you in your future career

Let’s talk about Summer, where days are longer, and no one can say it is too cold for iced coffee (no such thing!). In addition to spending time with friends and sleeping in, you may have a summer job. As such, I am here to tell you 5 ways your summer job will help you in your future career.

1. Develop transferrable skills. Whether you are a camp counselor, or waiting on tables, almost every single job has transferrable skills. Transferable skills are skills developed in one situation that can be used in another. Top skills an employer is looking for are communication, writing, problem-solving, and the ability to work in a team. If you are waiting on tables or selling clothes in retail, you are speaking to clients, and selling them a product. If you are life-guarding or being a counselor, you are supervising others and following procedure. All things you can highlight on a resume. If you are not sure how to highlight your transferable skills, don’t hesitate to make an appointment at The Career Center.

2. Establish a work ethic. It may be hard to wake up early and go to work, especially when it is 80 degrees and sunny. However, the quicker you get into a routine of being on time to work, the easier it will be. In addition to being on time, employers notice someone who is eager to help out the rest of the staff. With any job you can further develop your work ethic by being professional and using your time efficiently.

3. Network! This may be heard to hear, but approximately 80% of jobs are found via networking. Networking can happen at any time. When I was in training for my first full-time job at a bank, the employee next to me told everyone how he had originally worked at Dunkin Donuts. He was always attentive to the customers and tried to remember everyone’s usual orders. One particular customer of his was the branch manager. The manager was so impressed with my co-worker he offered him a job as a full-time teller. Was the man consciously networking while at Dunkin? Probably not, but that proves how you never know who may help you in your career.

4. Explore your likes and dislikes. After a few weeks, you can hopefully discern whether you like or dislike your job. My shortest summer job was being a front desk clerk at a gym for two weeks. I hated being a “bouncer” and trying to stop people who were no longer active members (and the 4:30 a.m. start certainly did not help). However, I loved my other job as a lifeguard. I loved being outside and interacting with the other guards. These are things I noticed, and were key to helping me discern my career.

5. Update your resume and references. Don’t be afraid to put this experience on your resume, even if it does not seem to be relevant. Highlight those transferrable skills, especially what you may have improved upon. By the end of the summer you should be able to say you not only did your job, but did it well. In addition, ask your employer for a reference. They don’t expect you to do this job forever, especially if it is seasonal.

Wishing you all a lovely and sun-filled summer!

Kristi Riecker, Graduate Assistant
The Career Center, Hofstra University

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