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Why We LOVE Summer Jobs

By Kate Grove 

It’s summertime! And that means back to the summer jobs we all love so much! No, seriously. We should love them! Summer work is a great chance to acquire transferable skills, test the waters in an undiscovered career field and make lots of money you’ll want once classes start again.

Transferable skills are those skills you acquire doing jobs that may or may not seem related to your career field. But, these skills are crucial to working in ANY environment and valued by any employer. The even better news is, acquiring these skills while you do whatever your job of the season is, is actually really easy! A study of employers called Workplace Basics-The Skills Employers Want, which was jointly conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor and the American Association of Counseling and Development, generated a list of valuable skills employers look for that are not job-related. Although job-related skills are still crucial for any field many employers also expressed interest in candidates who displayed

  • Good communication skills
  • Creative thinking and problem solving skills
  • Self-esteem, motivation and goal setting
  • Personal and career developmental skills
  • Interpersonal/negotiation skills and teamwork
  • And organizational effectiveness and leadership

These are the kind of skills you can acquire by working at your local grocery store, babysitting, lifeguarding, and working in a restaurant or in customer service related fields. If your summer job is un-related to the major you’re studying, don’t downplay the importance of that experience.

If you’ve never worked nor had experience in the field you have your heart set on (or in the major you’re studying), the summer is the perfect time to test that out. Use this time to participate in job shadowing with a potential employer. Although job shadowing experiences normally last anywhere from 1 day to a week, and they generally don’t monetarily pay, the rewards of these experiences can still be great. If you’ve always been interested in working as a crime scene investigator, contact your local law enforcement office to see if you could ride along with someone one day. Or if you’ve been studying accounting for two years it might be wise to contact a family friend who happens to be a financial planner, and find out if they’d be willing to let you follow them around for a day. It would be to your benefit to figure out if you pass out at the sight of blood or if sitting at a desk all day bores you!

If you’ve never checked out our Job Location and Development (JLD) Program, the summer is a great time to do so! JLD locates and develops off-campus job opportunities in the local community. UNC Charlotte attracts local employers who need students to work in part-time, seasonal, temporary, or full-time positions that do not require a degree. The JLD program is a great way to earn some extra cash to spend in the summer or save for the upcoming semesters!

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean it can’t be beneficial to your career planning. Make the most of ANY summer experience. Whether it’s working part-time somewhere or just testing the waters of a potential career field, make it worth your while.

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