Do you have a job?
There are lots of reasons why a college student might not have a job at the moment. Maybe they're too overburdened with schoolwork and extracurriculars. Maybe they're in a particularly demanding major. Maybe they're in between jobs or are trying to lighten their load so they can destress.
All that's well and good. But for those who don't have jobs simply because they've never considered it, I would highly recommend starting one. Even if waiting tables or ringing up purchases isn't your dream job, there's a lot to be learned from such a seemingly mundane job. And even though "working your way through college" may seem like a fantasy for the modern day college student, there are more reasons than tuition to get a job during college. Below are 6 of them.
The most obvious reason to get a job is to make money. College students are always complaining about being broke, so why not do something that allows you to earn money? (That isn't one of those scammy survey sites?) Even if you're only getting minimum wage, $7.25* an hour is better than nothing when you've got bills to pay.
*Or whatever the minimum wage is where you live.
Do you want to be able to live out in the world without having to rely on your parents for everything? Or do you want to be able to make your own choices about your money without being told what to do with it? Having a job can help with both of that. When you earn your own money, you'll be able to pay for things yourself. This, of course, could either be a relief or a burden to your parents, but the fact is, you'll be much more independent.
And if you live at home (like I do) and don't have to pay for much, most or all of your paycheck will go to your savings, so when you get the chance to start out on your own, you'll have a nice little nest egg. Who doesn't want that?
Did you know that students who work up to 15 hours a week in college get better grades than students who don't work at all? (Don't believe me? Check for yourself.)
Having a job forces you to stay responsible. Unless you want to get fired, you have to get there on time, do your tasks, and make sure that everything is going as it's supposed to. If you can't make it, you have to call in. And you can't snap at the customers! If you're able to do all that for longer than a few weeks or months, congratulations! You're at least somewhat responsible.
4. Job Experience/Resume Boosting
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Job experience is invaluable. Even "entry level" jobs these days often require tons of experience.
Plus, job experience is one of the most important aspects of resume boosting. If the more and more stern admonitions I'm receiving to get job experience while you're in college! are any indicator, it's getting harder and harder to break into the workforce without work experience to go with your degree. Of course, working at a fro-yo place might not teach you anything about chemical engineering, but you do learn the delicate art of workplace politics.
In addition, work experience might help you get an internship, which may be more directly related to the job that you dream of. It's Career Ladder 101.
6. Interact With a Diverse Group of People
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Coworkers. You don't choose 'em, but you've gotta live with 'em, for better or for worse. I'm fortunate enough to like all of my coworkers, but I know most people aren't so lucky. But even if you find yourself working next to Dwight Shrute or having a boss like Michael Scott, you'll learn some valuable lessons about workplace politics, working in teams, and -if it comes to it - conflict management in the workforce.
Convinced? Well, go apply for a job today! Even if you are unable to get a job, you will have gained experience in putting yourself out there in the job market - and that's an important starting point in itself.