I Applied To 16 Summer Jobs, and Here's What I Learned
Start writing a post
Student Life

I Applied To 16 Summer Jobs, and Here's What I Learned

The job market is tough, but we are tougher.


Through the end of high school into the beginning of college, finding a summer job was really simple. I spent several summers as a camp counselor at the same day camp I went to throughout my childhood. Once I felt I had gotten too old for that job, I worked a summer at my favorite frozen yogurt store about five minutes from my house. I entered this summer thinking that finding a summer job is easy (at least from my experience).

News flash: it's harder than ever before.

How hard exactly? I had to travel to 16 places to work including the same place I worked last summer, four ice cream shops, three pizzerias, two salad places, two bakeries, one food store, one smoothie bowl joint, one Mexican fast food restaurant, and one waitressing position at a restaurant before I actually got hired. I filled up my tank of gas and used half of it in one day.

Yet many miles driven (and gallons of gas) later, it's safe to say I got something out of the experience because it gave me a taste of the job market. No, these jobs are not in the corporate world that I'm entering post-graduation, but they provided a model of the reality of the job market.

First of all, persistence is extremely important.

If I didn't score a job, I wasn't going to have spending money for the semester, which would include the expenses of having my own apartment. So if I didn't get 5 of the jobs I applied to, or 10, or 15, I was going to have to continue my search. This ordeal was frustrating (to say the least), but I learned the importance of the "try try again" mentality. Persistence doesn't only apply to these smaller jobs. In fact, more than ever, it'll matter in the bigger job market which is far more competitive.

Also, the world is changing (and maybe not for the better).

The world is becoming much more electronic and not necessarily for the better for us who just want a little money from the summer. With the rise of GrubHub and DoorDash, there is less of a need for people working in food service. Most stores have online shopping that keeps us from having to go out--but also can keep many of us from landing a job in retail. The world is becoming almost completely digital which is benefitting those of us who want to work in technology after college, but not benefitting those of us who aren't at that point in our lives.

But, most importantly, not getting a job is not a negative reflection on any of us.

This statement is true for these little summer jobs but even truer when we're searching for a permanent career. I had experience working a very similar job to the ones I applied for, my applications indicated I was a good student, my availability was extremely flexible, but it wasn't enough. Some places wanted full-time, permanent employees. Some places wanted only applicants who had previously worked there. Some places just weren't hiring.

And when we're in the corporate world with our many marketable qualities--from great grades to experience in the field to campus involvement, we will still sometimes be told "no." We may be told "no" many times for numerous different reasons. In fact, I wasn't hired for an internship this summer because I was "too qualified." So we should stop believing we aren't enough because in many cases we're not. The job market is tough, but we are tougher.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments