February 21, 2024

Summer is quickly approaching and many students are scrambling to find new jobs, but the problem with students seeking summer jobs is often a money-motivated work ethic. However, even summer jobs can be used to benefit students in their future careers.

Many students may be returning to familiar jobs back home, but others are still searching for employment. Even though summer jobs are temporary, they should be a place for learning and growth.

There is nothing wrong with spending a summer working in fast-food, doing yard work or brewing coffee. However, the jobs we choose now influence the experience we have for the future.

I have spent several summers working as a barista at a local coffee shop and I value the customer-service skills I maintain. Whether it is a regular job or an internship, every employment opportunity is an important tool for making connections for references in the future.

When interviewing for a job, always make sure that the manager is someone with desirable qualities and skills from whom you can learn. Do not choose your summer job purely based on how much it will pay you.

Be sure to value the company you work for and, whenever possible, find an uplifting, inspiring boss who will teach new skills and practices. Not only will this make your job environment more enjoyable, but it will also allow you to create valuable relationships, cultivate your work ethic and network with those around you for the future.

When it comes to internships, some are just busywork but still look good on a resume. I am not trying to say no one should ever spend a summer filing paperwork or doing data entry. Everyone has to work his or her way up, and work that feels unimportant frees the time of those in top positions.

However, that busywork is only worth one’s time if the leadership is willing to write a recommendation or offer the student a better job afterward. Suffering through a job with a poor attitude and no hope for improvement is a waste of time.

Some students may plan on spending their summers abroad, completing internships, or maybe even taking more college classes. For others, California Baptist University’s four months of summer break is an opportunity to gain job experience and make money.

We all need to work our way up. Jobs do not come easy, but that does not mean students need to settle for poor jobs right away. Find a company that motivates you and a boss that you aspire to be like in the future. 

A summer job does not have to be perfect, but it needs to have room for growth to truly help your career get started.

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