As a career counsellor, one of the suggestions I give students is to do a summer job. A job in an industry where you eventually like to work in future can give you an insight into what it will be like working there. But even if the job is unrelated to your long-term goal, it can enable you to develop discipline, improve your ability to work hard and teach you time-management skills. Lets take a closer look at the benefits you can accrue by working during summer.
While doing your summer job try to ferret out some information about the company you work for. Write your questions down, take an appointment and ask questions to the staff members there. The research will help you make the correct choice about your career. Here are some questions you can ponder upon while doing your summer job:
Do people mainly work with other people in this industry / job?
How much reading or new knowledge is required on a daily basis ?
What skills are beneficial?
How much travelling is needed?
Are people required to compromise on their ethics on a regular basis?
Answers to the above questions can give you an idea about working in a particular field.
A summer job can also give you an opportunity to develop and demonstrate work ethics to a potential employer. By reaching the job on time, being appropriately dressed like the staff members and learning as much as you can from observation. So, if you came on time and appropriately dressed for two whole months then you have demonstrated restraint, time management skills, and inculcated the habit of working hard. Take the job seriously and be passionate about the tasks allocated. No matter how mercenary is your reason for working, the employer takes work seriously and has money riding on your performance. If you meet the target of the week or month then you have demonstrated that you are capable of pursuing a goal and excelling in it. Volunteering to do something extra is another way of getting noticed.
When you are finally leaving the job don’t forget to request for a recommendation letter. It should include the duration of your work in that company, the projects you have been involved with and a mention of your responsibilities in the office or tasks accomplished.
“So what experience do you have?” is the question most job aspirants face during interviews. Your summer jobs can be added to your résumé to indicate that you have used your vacations wisely. If you have attempted the summer job well you will be able to give examples of work done in your first job interview and win over the recruiter. After all, the icing on the cake after your summer job is to write something in the experience section rather than leaving it blank.
Almost everybody I talked to expressed the desire to earn some extra money. So, you can earn some money by selling newspaper subscriptions, or by conducting door-to-door market survey. If you do a great job during summer and you love it then let it show in your enthusiasm for work and motivation. Your employer could either consider hiring you in future or put you in touch with somebody who might. So, update your résumé and approach that company right now and see if they are hiring for the summer.
Send your queries to Career Hotline, Careergraph, The Telegraph,
6, Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta 700 001. Fax: 22253142;