Having played sports all growing up and throughout high school, I never really had the time to squeeze in a job. I babysat every summer and on weekends, and I volunteered with so many different organizations, but I had never had a "real job." You know, the kind where the money isn't tax-free and there aren't snacks you can help yourself to.

When I got to college, I didn't think it would be physically possible for me to get a job while balancing my school work, my sorority, and my social life. So, during my first semester, I just took everything in. It was the first time I had ever been able to choose my schedule, and I had so much freedom. I was able to spend my days how I wanted, and I was able to accomplish so much because I had a few major priorities that I was able to plan around.

When I got the hang of my schedule, I decided that I was going to make a few changes in my second semester. I find that I'm more productive if I stay busy, so I started looking for a job. I ended up finding a job in a field I hope to stay in and I genuinely love going to work. Here are a few things I kept in mind when I started looking for a job:

1. Look around on campus for job openings

@universityofky

Having a job on campus makes it easy for you to get to and from work. Usually, if you have an on-campus job, your employer will be willing to work around your class schedule. Working in a place you're familiar with will make college seem more like home and also allows you to make friends who have the same interests as you.

2. Find out if your college is hiring

Sometimes different colleges at the University of Kentucky, or any university, will hire desk clerks or even interns. Although this may not be ideal for you, it will look great on resumes and letters of recommendation. Having a job that coincides with your major will give you an insight into your future career. Making connections early on in your college career will prove beneficial for you in the long run.

3. Sign up for Handshake

handshake

Handshake is a website specifically for students to find jobs. It will open so many doors for you and will help you out down the road. It's an easy and efficient way to jumpstart your career!

4. Make a point to meet face-to-face with future employers

meeting employers

Aside from using technology to put yourself out there, you will stand out among other students if you make genuine human connections with people. Society is pushing us more and more to use technology and human interaction is almost a thing of the past. Going out of your way to meet with future employers in person will definitely leave a lasting impression.

5. Keep an open mind 

Your first job likely won't be your dream job. It COULD be, though! Always keep an open mind when searching for a job in college. If there's a job out there that interests you in the slightest, submit an application. The worst thing that could happen is you get turned down, which can turn into motivation to continue to hunt for a job. A paying job is a paying job, but it won't be the end of the world if you end up deciding to quit. This piece of advice has stuck with me throughout my life: do what you have to do when you have to do it until you can do what you want to do whenever you want to do it.