For most college students who live in apartments in Blacksburg, VA, summer is a chance to pad one’s resume with important, or at least important-sounding, work.
However, in today’s economy, competition is so fierce, salaries so stagnant, that casual jobs are a bit dicey. While many still believe that the best use of a summer vacation is to embrace an array of jobs, locales, and identities to unveil one’s true calling, today’s lackluster economy no longer affords “Young Americans” the luxury of such experimentation.
Luckily, today’s student can do several things to further their career aspirations and education, if not dramatically raise their standard of living. Below are five summer employment options.
Freelance Writer: Working as a freelance writer will teach you invaluable research and writing skills. The financial reality, however, is that, unless you work in “strategic communications”, you are not likely to make loads of money. Nevertheless, as a freelance writer (read: blogger), you will learn how to write concise copy, as well as how to construct your. Moreover, freelance writers don’t have to follow a set schedule. Just remember: Stay In Your Lane. Your job as a freelancer is to narrow your focus, not expand it.
Server: Serving tables is hard. Waiting tables requires people skills and energy. The good news is that serving can be rewarding. You will learn how to act graceful under pressure and keep a cool head even when everyone else around you is losing theirs, which comes in handy down the road. In addition, you get to make valuable “contacts.”
Nanny: Busy self-involved parents with kids out of school for the summer will often pay great rates for a good sitter. Not only will you be paid well, but you can also spend your summer reliving your childhood with fun activities. A good nanny demonstrates creativity and responsibility. Whether you want to be a teacher, a physical therapist, or a doctor, having experience with children is an enticing skill to put on your resume, and it will allow you to interact one-on-one with kids in a relaxed and fun setting. Best of all, being a nanny is always something you can fall back on if you have a hard time finding a job after college. By building your resume and contacts now, you will have sparkling recommendations to offer interested parents in the future.
Entrepreneur: If you are having trouble finding work or just want to launch your own paid pastime, summer is the time to do it. Mow lawns, walk dogs, or paint houses. Learn lessons in start-ups while you’re at it.