The Importance of Summer Jobs for Students

Landing a summer job can be a valuable experience that helps you now and in the future.

By: Brian Gaysunas

A summer job will help you out in your life, even if it doesn’t appear on your resume 30 years from now. In most professions, you’ll likely never have a ‘summer break,’ so it can seem like your best option is to enjoy the breaks while you still have them. You can argue the importance of cherishing that time – but you may find that you’re better equipped for jobs after school by taking on a summer job. Finding a summer job helps you develop valuable transferable skills, determine what work best suits you, and earn a steady income.

 

Develop transferable skills

With a summer job, you gain valuable, transferable skills that can help you in any occupation after school. There are countless examples of this – working as a cashier can make you more comfortable processing sales and transactions, calculating the cost of goods and services, and can improve your customer service and conflict resolution skills. A job as a dishwasher will help you work in a fast-paced environment. A landscaping job will teach you how to operate maintenance equipment, work closely with a team, and determine the best-suited equipment for any number of different scenarios. No matter the job you find, you will be able to leverage your learnings in any of your following jobs.

 

Your job will also give you a heightened sense of responsibility. If this is your first job, you’ll quickly see what it means to be a part of a team and the role you play in ensuring the success of your team. Having a strict shift timeline to abide by can also help you operate within a set schedule – even more than what you’re used to at school. You’ll be in charge of a specific task and other members of your team will rely on you to ensure that task is carried out properly. Being in this environment can help you develop some of the most important skills that you might not originally think of. These skills are primarily soft skills, such as time management skills and interpersonal skills.

 

From following a rigid schedule and aiming to please your team, you can develop strong time management skills. By working closely with a team with a shared goal, your communication and collaboration skills will also improve. If your job involves speaking with customers, you’ll also develop customer service skills, including any conflict resolution that might come with this position.

 

Learn what type of work interests you

This can be an opportunity to see where you shine – what things you’re good at and what you need to develop. If you find that you’re particularly good at customer service, you can use that to guide you towards a more communication-based career; something in sales or management or general customer service might be for you. You’ll also quickly determine what you aren’t as comfortable with or don’t want to do, which is an important distinction to make early on.

 

Finding out the work that you enjoy and are good at can help guide you towards different jobs later in life. Quickly learning that you aren’t successful or interested in a certain role can both drive you towards improving in that role or avoiding similar roles in the future. Having an idea of what work interests you is vital in finding a rewarding job. Don’t look only for work that you are good at, but also work that you can feel motivated about. Your first few jobs will likely guide you towards this idea of what interests you, so getting a start as soon as you can will bring you closer to having a fulfilling job that can last you a lifetime.

 

Earn a steady income

Clearly one of the greatest benefits of having a job is the paycheck that comes along with it. A larger portion of your paycheck becomes disposable income the younger you are, because often you’ll have fewer bills and expenses to pay. Having an extra source of income can also help you and your family. Having a decent savings built up is always something to strive for, so if you can get a head start with a summer job, you should take that opportunity.

 

Taking on a summer job can help you grow both personally and professionally. Even in high school or college you can determine the work that suits you and get an idea of what skills you have and what skills you want to develop. You’ll get experience working with a team and develop your soft skills. You’ll make your own money that you can then use for whatever you need. It’s a smart plan to get a head start when it comes to work, because the skills you develop at any age will carry on to your future jobs.