Summer at university is weird. You go from a state of hubbub and business to waking up each day wondering what you’re going to do. Sure, you might have an exciting holiday planned or a couple of events lined up, but if you’re not careful, the majority of the days can be spent watching daytime television and swiping through Instagram.
So, instead, people end up finding a summer job to not only fill their time, but to try and rake in some dollar before the new term starts. Some people work so they can eat and others work to pay off some of that overdraft built up from parties and pizza.
Yet, summer jobs don’t need to have you sat behind a till or stacking shelves, they can be a useful opportunity to add to your CV, get a foot in the door of your future career, or figure out what you want to do.
For example, I took a gap year before coming to uni as I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. In that gap year, I discovered that I liked researching and writing, so I set up my own website and wrote an article every day. Soon enough I had regular readers and constant interaction. I then stumbled across a website called Fiverr where people will pay $5 for a service that you’re offering. I offered to write 500 words for $5 on a topic of their choice, and soon enough I had a little bit of extra cash each week.
That was four years ago, and because of that, I have enough income from writing alone to support me without any other work. Not to mention, I now have a platform to elevate myself into the working world after uni, an extensive list information for my CV, and experience in the line of work I want to go into. Something that I’ve begun to realise lately is that university doesn’t last forever, and there comes a point where you have to become a ‘real adult’ (insert gagging noise). If you carry on thinking this way, then you’re going to be in for a mighty shock come the end of your third year. However, if you keep in mind that you’ll need to go onto bigger and better things eventually, then there are some useful things that you can be doing to get you better prepared for that post-uni period.
If you think about summer jobs as just a means to pass the time, you’ll end up resorting to a standard job you’ll moan about to all your friends and family. Though, if you think about a summer job as an opportunity to move onto bigger and better things, you can earn money and actually enjoy the process whilst doing it.
One of the best ways to find jobs in your field or paid experiences over summer will be to talk to your tutor. If they don’t know themselves, then they’ll often know someone who does and can set you up with someone. Through doing this, you’ve got help in your efforts and you’ve also showed initiative and willingness with your teachers who will hopefully pass on your details to anyone looking for eager participants.
Another helpful tip is to talk to the careers advisor. During my meeting, I was given a large list of companies who would be willing to accept summer interns as well as places that would accept writing submissions. Not only this, but they gave me some helpful on advice on what I could be doing throughout uni and summer to bolster my CV and make it more attractive to employers after uni.
Not everyone can get into their dream job straight after graduation. Heck, most people don’t. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get your foot in the door early and start working your way up the ladder with valuable experience and knowledge. Most people don’t take advantage of their free time throughout university and can end up paying for it later. Work out where you want to go, what the best way is to get there, and then what you can be doing right now to help yourself in the future. Once that final year’s over, you’ll be incredibly grateful.