Using a Summer Job to Prepare for Real Life


No matter the work, whether it be as a summer camp counselor or as a fast food fry cook, a summer job can help you prepare for college and for life in the real world.

The last school bell has rung, textbooks have all been packed away, and it seems as if you are finally free for the summer. A whole three months of independence and freedom lay ahead of you and countless opportunities for fun and adventure. You imagine yourself relaxing on the beach, spending days at amusement parks with your friends, and attending all your favorite bands’ concerts. But then reality, or perhaps your parent comes knocking: summertime also means getting the dreaded summer job.

If you’re like the majority of teenagers in the United States, summer is not only a time for fun and freedom, but it’s also a time for obtaining a few months of employment and money to help you afford all the fun things you plan on doing this summer. A summer job also equips you with important tools and skills that will help you prepare for college and for that nebulous place in the future known as the “real world.” Here are three ways in which a summer job can give you more than just money:

1. They give you a leg up in your college applications.

Holding down a job during the summer months shows that you have the dedication and drive needed to pursue full-time employment, in addition to financial freedom. All of this impresses college admissions counselors and can give you an extra competitive boost on your college application.

2. They teach you important resumé, application, and interview skills.

Whether applying for a job as a cashier at McDonald’s or as a business intern at a Fortune 500 company, you’ll need to be able to create a powerful resumé, accurately fill out a job application, and make a good impression in your personal interview. The more practice you have at performing these tasks for summer jobs, the more experienced and professional you will seem to future employers.

3. They provide you with interpersonal communication skills and experience in a workplace environment.

Whatever your position, you must be able to efficiently and respectfully communicate with your co-workers, your clients, and especially your employers. Whether or not you plan on continuing in your summer employment area after graduation, you will gain communication proficiency as well as valuable experience and practice at how to act in a workplace environment.

So don’t be afraid to begin the job search already! You’ll no doubt gain advantageous skills and experience that will help you in preparation for college and for life post-college out in the “real world.” Good luck!

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