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The Summer Job We Have to Get

Raise your hand if you applied for a summer job that you have no passion for. Raise your hand if you applied for a job because you need money. Raise your hand if your summer job has absolutely nothing to do with your major and you’re feeling self conscious about the fact that you’re not working in an internship or doing something with all that education you’re paying for.

It’s okay. You’re not alone. So many of us are working the summer jobs that we don’t want to work but have to have. It makes it harder when businesses don’t want to hire college kids who will only be around for a few months—they’d rather hire high school students or year-round locals.

But if you do find that summer job that hopefully pays a little bit more than minimum wage, and have to wear a brightly-colored t-shirt for, and have inflexible hours, it’s okay. It’s not pointless; it’s not a waste of your time. You’re making connections, making money, interacting with people, and getting work experience, even if it’s not in your field of choice.

You should always put your best foot forward in whatever you do, even if it’s not your dream job. Sometimes you can even find a small passion working in this meaningless job. For instance, are you working a counter in a restaurant or bakery? Maybe you really like talking to and getting to know people. Here’s the perfect opportunity! You’re job is literally to talk to people all day.

Take Jess from New Girl as an example. She was suddenly laid off from her job as a teacher (budget cuts suck), and after moping around for a while, she picked herself and found herself a job at the Casserole Shanty. Obviously, she is way overqualified for this job, but she shows up with her shirt tucked in, her ponytail as peppy as ever, and does the best job she can. She weirdly gets some friends out of the job for a short amount of time. (P.S. I am Jess from New Girl working at a casserole service this summer. It’s a weird realization).

Make the most out of your summer in every way you can—that includes your job. You can still have fun working at the equivalent of the Casserole Shanty and be reassured that even adults sometimes have to work these jobs that they don’t really want to do. They build character and teach you to work well with others. (I’m convinced group projects don’t teach us that at all). If you show up on time, are respectful, and do your job well, you might be asked back for winter break, and the next summer and onward until you graduate! That’s guaranteed income, and companies also love to see loyalty and longevity on resumes. So as you’re applying for summer jobs, don’t grumble and gripe—smile and put your best foot forward!

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Hannah Rials

UT Chattanooga

Hannah Rials, originally from Maryville, TN is a senior creative writing student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her first young adult novel Ascension was published August of 2016 by Aletha Press and is the first installment in the Cheyenne Lane Trilogy. Ascensionw has won two awards and is featured in Kirkus Review's magazine. Apart from writing and reading as much as she can, Hannah is obsessed with her Corgi Buddy, loves spending time with her family and friends, gardens, knits, and watches way too many movies.
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