Finding a summer job always seems like a simple matter of applying to whatever seems like the easiest job or the most convenient one. But following that logic may put you in a situation where, halfway through the summer, you realize you can't take working there anymore.
If you're looking for a summer job that you can survive for months, follow these tips.
1. Compare your skill set to what's needed for the job
Even though it's easy to go straight to applying for a position at a fast-food chain because of their penchant for hiring teenagers or young adults and the job's seemingly easy tasks, don't assume it's so cut and dry. If you are a social person, are patient, can multi-task, and can handle the smell of food for long periods of time, then working at a fast-food joint would be perfect for you. If you are missing just one of those traits, you may find the job more tiring than one would think. Working at a place like McDonald's means dealing with all kinds of customers, including rude and accusatory ones, so if you aren't patient, you may struggle getting through each day. If you are good with children, are creative, and have lots of energy, working at a summer camp or as a babysitter may be more suited for you. Working in retail also means being a social person and patient but also requires you to be organized and knowledgeable about inventory and the store's practices.
2. Look at the perks, not just the pay rate
When there are so many different options out there for employment, you want to try to find one that matches up with as much as your wants as possible. Perks like hassle-free time off, free merchandise, and even college benefits are ones that you may want to look for. Working at a summer camp may not give you much time off, so if you are looking to have more vacation time, working at a fast food restaurant may be a better bet. Working in retail may allow you certain discounts on products at your store and other stores within the corporation; if you work at any Gap Inc. stores, Gap, Old Navy, Athleta, or Banana Republic, you get a discount not just at your store but at the other ones. If you are looking to work out during the summer, working at a gym in any capacity should give you a free or discounted membership there.
3. Consider your future career
Not only is it good to consider what you are already good at for a job but what you want to be better at for future endeavors. Even though your job may be one that seemingly has a correlation with what you want to do in the future, try to look for one that requires skills that you need for your intended field. If you want to work with animals as a veterinarian or a trainer, over the summer, you can work at a doggie daycare or as a dog-walker. If you want to work with children as a teacher, you can become a summer camp counselor or even find certain centers or camps where you can teach specific classes. If you want to work a STEM-related job, there may be limited options for you besides interning in your chosen profession, but you may want to look at jobs that require you to problem-solve, be creative, and communicate effectively. Working at a bookstore, tutoring for summer sessions, or working as any kind of assistant may hone those skills.
You can always choose a job based on its proximity to you or the ease at which you acquire the position but sometimes those ones are the ones that no one else stays at for long. Taking a hard look at your choices will be better for you in the following months and in the long run.