Summer! What comes to your mind when you hear the word summer? Rising temperature. A month-long vacation. A lot of fun. Binge-watching TV series. Exhilarating, right! What about a job, eh? No?
You might be thinking how boring I am to tell you to take up a job this summer! After all, you’re either in school or have just started college. Besides, who wants to spend the summers working when they could vacation with their friends, sleep, and watch TV instead. Well, what if I told you a summer job could be your first step towards your career and the most productive thing you could do this summer?
Wait, what is a summer job?
A summer job is a short-term opportunity that students who have completed their 11th, 12th or are in their 1st or 2nd year of college can take up during their summer vacations. This can be a full-time job (8 hours a day) or a part-time job (4 hours a day). Not requiring any specific technical skill or educational degree, these jobs are perfect for school students or those who have recently started college. To give you an example, working as a customer service associate or as a cashier in McDonalds or Pantaloons during your summer break is a summer job.
Now, if I’m allowed to give a poetic reply, a summer job is your way to break out of your shell, grow your wings, and fly high with confidence!
Although already a common sight in the western countries, summer jobs are yet to gain popularity in India. Most parents are apprehensive about letting their children work at such an early age and teens themselves don’t consider them ready for a job at this point in time. However, what has to be understood here is that a summer job not only helps us in our all-round development at a very initial stage but also allow us to observe the world through a different lens. Besides, there is no magic school that teaches us important workplace skills and it can only come from doing real jobs and experiencing things first-hand.
Still, why should I do a summer job? (Abhi to mere khelne koodne ke din hain!)
Well, Yash will tell you why. Yash was an introvert who hesitated from interacting with strangers and didn’t trust himself with even the smallest of tasks. To finally come out of this shell that he had built around himself, he took up a summer job. Once his two-month stint at the nearby supermarket was over, he emerged as Yash 2.0 – a confident and much reliable person!
Yes, a summer job could instill in you the much-needed skills to get that dream internship/job at a later point in your career. It could also help you determine what kind of a career appeals to you. Along with this, it offers you the joy of owning something and making money out of it. Already dreaming of buying that much-eyed mobile phone with the money you earn (raising eyebrows!)?
Apart from financial independence, a summer job has a lot more to offer:
1. It develops work ethics – Although a summer job may bear little or no resemblance to your field of study, it instills the much-required work ethics and discipline in you. You develop a sense of responsibility and ownership and learn the importance of working hard and being on time.
2. It expands your skill-set – Imagine you step out of the classroom and enter the forbidden forest only to find Aragog – the spider, ready to feed you to its kids. Well, meeting with people from different walks of life, I’m sure, won’t be that terrifying! At least not after a few days of working at a retail store. As you interact with customers, solve their queries, and assist them with their purchases, you develop your communication skills, become more confident, and learn to be compassionate and polite.
3. It enhances your industrial knowledge – A summer job teaches you a great deal about an industry. Working in an organisation, you see first-hand how a fast-paced business operates and learn about the markets it targets. For instance, working at Marks & Spencer would teach you how an apparel industry functions. Even the way clothes are folded and stacked in specific aisles tell you about the various in-store operations and quality-control checks.
Don’t these summer jobs sound like your very own Master Yoda – instilling good values and developing your interpersonal skills?
Now, if I have convinced you enough to at least consider taking up a summer job, here are some retail sectors you could get into.
1. Department stores and supermarkets – With roles of a cashier, merchandiser, retail associate, stock clerk, and customer service associate, this sector offers a perfect blend of fun and learning. Just imagine, how cool it would be to wake your inner Monica and organise the goods in a store or discover the Rachel in you by interacting with customers and helping them buy the dress that looks best on them.
2. Food and beverage – With cafes and restaurants popping up all over the country, it’s the easiest sector to land a summer job! These outlets offer a variety of opportunities such as customer support, waiting on the tables, managing the accounts, etc. Also, what better way to spend your summer than being amid the scent of your favorite Domino’s pizzas or McD’s burgers! Plus Rachel did it, Penny did it, and Max did it too!
With this short-term stint, you would be able to do something worthwhile this summer. Moreover, with the learnings that come your way and the personality you develop at this stage, you would get an edge during placement season and when you apply for professional courses like MBA. Could it BE any better?
If you still have inhibitions about taking up a summer job, you can read the stories of Nia and Megha and see how Nia grew her wings with a summer job. If you don’t, what are you waiting for? Come out of your cupboard under the staircase already and get your hands dirty!