University summers are the perfect time to make some extra cash and test the waters in different jobs. You could work retail, be a camp counsellor, work at different festivals, or anything really. You could also be working in a research lab, completing a co-op placement or an internship. No matter what the job you’re working, we have some tips to make the most out of it.
[Related article: 6 summer jobs you may not have thought of]
1. Take initiative
When you’re at a new workplace, you have the opportunity to leave a lasting impression and contribution. If you see something you’d like done, take initiative. This could be organizing a team for a local charity fundraiser run or something bigger like changes to the responsibilities of summer staff and interns for future summers.
Pro tip: If you’re working a 9–5 job, don’t be the first one to leave at the end of the day. This could show that you’re uninterested in the work or company and just counting minutes until you can leave at the end of the day. Stick around or adjust your hours so you leave around the same time as your co-workers.
2. Ask questions
About everything. Ask questions to help clarify the expectations or purpose of the work that you’re doing. Ask for feedback. Ask your co-workers how they got into their current role. This is your time to be curious, learn as much as you can, and explore your options.
A new workplace is a great way to meet new people. It’s important to keep a professional tone in the workplace and make connections with supervisors and co-workers, but it’s also a great place to make new friends. There will likely be other students working with you, so take the chance to get to know them (see Tip 2). Connections and friends you make at a summer job could greatly benefit you in the future.
4. Update your LinkedIn profile and resume
Add your summer job as your current workplace on your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you like or follow your company’s social media accounts if they have them. Once you finish your job, update your resume with all of the new skills that you learned. If you’re unsure of how to include something on your resume, ask your supervisor.
5. Look for ways to stay connected
Collect business cards from your co-workers if they have them, connect with your supervisor and co-workers on LinkedIn, and ask for references at the right time. Don’t forget to thank the organization at the end of the summer and stay in touch!
Our tips aren’t just for work! With your newfound freedom and income, it can be very tempting to spend your paycheque as soon as you get it, but it’s especially important to remember to budget over the summer. Make sure you set aside some money for expenses that you know you’ll have during the school year (rent, phone bill, groceries).
7. Make time for yourself
Just like in the school year, it can be easy to get caught up with in your work commitments and forget to make time for yourself. Summer is a great time to go on hikes, go camping, take a walk, or try out a new café with friends. Don’t forget to take time to do things that make you happy with people who make you happy.
Sam is always the first one in the office in the morning.