Why Your Crappy Summer Job Shows Grit

Air conditioning, money, experience, discipline. Did I mention air conditioning? All great things that come with a summer job. You might think your summer job at the ice cream shop is the worst, although, how could you? It’s ice cream. But those hours spent using that beautiful brain are way worth it. Having a summer job may seem like a daunting task, but you’ll thank yourself in the future. No matter what it is, that job is like a fast-track pass at Disneyland. It gives you an edge, no matter how menial the tasks may seem. Put yourself at ease. Here’s why that crappy summer job puts you in the lead.

1. You value growth.

It’s so easy to spend the summer getting an unhealthy amount of sun exposure and waking up for “breakfast” (let’s be real, it’s probably lunchtime). But if you spend your summer balancing your work and play, you’ll be better off in the long and short-term. A future potential employer will totally dig it in a big way if they see you chose gaining job experience over taking it easy. They also want to see that you can stick it out, even if the job is boring or exhausting. Major grit points for you.

2. You’re practicing your big picture skills.

Getting a summer job means a few things when it comes to saving. First, you save time when the school year comes around. Second, you save money, which means you save time. With that work experience, you get to devote yourself to the things that matter when fall comes around — education, internships, leadership roles, fostering relationships with mentors. It shows that you think ahead. Employers love that because it means you’ll save them time and money.

3. References.

We’re going to keep reminding you that people hire people. It’s so important to have people who can vouch for your awesomeness. While you’re in college, those people are your professors, mentors and, of course, your summer job bosses. Don’t expect them to write a glowing review of you, 5-star-Yelp style, if you haven’t shown them that you value the opportunity you’ve been given. So, make sure to connect with them. Tell them what you’re learning and tell them what you’re interested in. That way they can show, not tell, future employers why you would rock a job. As Guy Kawasaki said, “If you want to make a positive memorable impression, treat people like people not like prospects.” Word.

4. Diversity of skills.

The more you can do, the better. Working at a coffee shop means customer service skills. Working at the bike shop around the corner means fostering relationships with the locals. Working in retail means merchandising skills, communication development, and sales experience. Bottom line, sticking out a job that you’re not passionate about shows grit, and you can apply the skills you learn to any job. You can pretty much find a benefit to every job situation. Now, it’s up to you to sell that on your resume. We know you can work it.

Kristen Hamilton is the Co-Founder and CEO of Koru, the leader in predictive hiring. As a technology entrepreneur and executive with a passion for impact, Kristen has a successful track record driving value for customers and investors. She co-founded e-commerce pioneer Onvia and took it public in 2000. Kristen built the organization to 500 people, raised over $300 million of investment capital, and led the M&A team to acquire and integrate four private companies in two years. Kristen then shifted focus to education and talent acquisition, as head of educator strategy at Microsoft, and COO of World Learning, where she ran operations in 66 countries.

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