Insight

Employability

/ 2 years ago /

 Article by Lucy Pegg

5 ways your summer job can develop your career skills

This post was written by an external contributor. Lucy Pegg explains how your summer job could prepare you for your future profession. 

Summer jobs can seem dull or uninspiring. Whether you’re working in a café or putting in the hours at a kids club, a summer job might top up your bank account, but it can seem far removed from your broader career plan.

But whatever your job may be, you’re sure to develop some valuable skills along the way…

Motivation to succeed

If we’re being honest, summer jobs aren’t always that fun. Seasonal work means that instead of lazing about in the sun, you’re going to be ploughing through minimum wage labour inside.

Use your summer job to motivate you to achieve your goals and keep your career dreams alive, whether that’s working harder at university or really putting in extra effort when it comes to grad job applications.

If your summer job does nothing else positive for you at least it can be the thought you use to spur yourself on to better things; onwards and upwards away from coffee making or hotel room cleaning.

Leave the academic bubble

This is easy to do, especially if you live in a student-saturated city. Your summer job is a chance to break out and meet people with different experiences.

Not only is this refreshing, but it’s great at preparing you for the transition from academia to the workplace after graduation, where not everyone will live in the same secluded environment we get used to at university.

Coping with boredom

Sometimes adult life can be unavoidably uninteresting, and if you find yourself drifting off at work it can be a lesson in how to work through this.

No matter what career you hope to get into later, it’s probably going to include some slightly dull moments alongside the exciting parts you’ve been anticipating; even astronauts must have to fill in some tedious paperwork or sit through a mind-numbing meeting occasionally!

If you can handle the boredom of your summer job, just think how easy it will be to cope with those slow days once you’re working full time!

Skill building

It’s surprising the places you can pick up employable skills, and your summer job will certainly be one of them. Whether you’re a beach lifeguard or temping as a receptionist, your summer job will undoubtedly test your teamwork, communication, reliability and people skills.

That time the till stopped working and you had to find a solution is an example of problem solving. When you helped some customers who were struggling with their English, that’s you using your cross cultural communication skills.

Fund your future

A summer job is all about making a bit of extra cash, whether to save cannily or fund something nice. If you can manage to spare some whilst working, it can be a great way to invest in your future by funding some extracurricular courses.

Whether you’d love to learn a language or want to grab yourself a specific professional qualification, consider how you can use your hard-earned summer money to get some employable skills that will pay off heaps in the career market.

Now, whatever your job, at least you know this summer you developed your career skills, as well as earning some extra money.

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