Getting The Most Out of Your Summer Job

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: March 22, 2023
Getting Summer Job

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How to get the most out of your summer job

Your summer job is about to begin, and you’re ready to get the most out of this experience. You plan to learn something about the professional world, make some money, meet some new friends, and gain some experience that can boost your resume when you’re ready to find a permanent, professional position later on. So how can you make all of these things happen while standing behind the counter of a coffee shop? Or serving as a counselor at a summer camp? Or a lifeguard? Or a math tutor? Or dog walker? Or an intern for a non-profit organization? Keep these tips in mind.

1. Live in the moment.

Go ahead and get carried away. If you like what you happen to be doing at any given moment, let it show. Enjoy the day. This is youth! This is work! This is summer! And we can promise you that right now, despite your unglamorous surroundings, you are EXACTLY where you need to be. If you try to maintain a bored, checked-out demeanor in order to impress your friends, you’ll miss out. Throw yourself into your work and the day and your interactions with those around you. These moments are fleeting, and by enjoying yourself and letting it show, you’ll actually earn the respect and admiration of your bosses, coworkers and customers.

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

If you make a mistake and are criticized for it, just apologize and try not to make the same mistake again. Don’t assume you’re terrible at what you do, or that you’ll never make it in the world. By the same token, there’s no need to rebel or sulk or fight back. This is not the hill you need to die on. Make sure every moment is a learning opportunity, and use these interactions to assess the kinds of tasks you do and don’t enjoy, and the aspects of this job at which you do and don’t excel.

3. Remember that your boss cares deeply about this business.

For you, this job may represent a temporary paycheck and nothing more. But for your boss, the success of failure of this business means everything. Respect this fact and show some empathy and situational awareness.

4. Show up on time, every time.

Among all the high level responsibilities you may be handling during the day, there’s one responsibility that rises far above the others in importance: showing up. You may not realize how much it matters to your boss when you can be counted on to appear on time, every time. But it matters a lot. This one trait alone (punctuality) may determine 90 percent of your value as an employee. Give plenty of notice if you need to take a day off.

5. Be clean and neat.

There’s something about neatness and presentability that seems to launch summer employee-employer relationships off on the right foot. If 90 percent of your success depends on punctuality, most of the remaining 10 percent will come from your neatness and attention to detail.

For more on how to learn, grow, and make the most of your summer experience, explore the career development resources available on MyPerfectResume.

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