Jobs in Summer as Part of Action Plan to a Full-time Job

U.S. consumers are being sucked dry and risk is dragging the U.S. economy into a much worse recession than expected. It is expected that during the year 2008, about one million jobs will be lost and even those with an income are doing it tough as hourly earnings decline and employers slash work hours. Moreover, with the adverse impact of the housing and financial sector turbulence appearing to have taken hold in the real economy it can be expected the U.S. deterioration in the U.S. labor market to continue for some time.

These are no good news for job searchers. In particular, teenagers with little or no experience need all the help they can get to find work that meets their needs. Even if you are still at college, in times of a stagnating economy it is essential to start as early as possible designing and implementing an action plan for your professional future.  Without a plan, you will find yourself taking action haphazardly and wasting valuable time. No matter your age, planning your future begins with the same simple question – “What do I want?” Try to identify your talents and strengths and write down all your interests and values. For many teenagers this can be a quite challenging exercise and it is always helpful asking your friends or family for help.

Once you know what you want, you can start preparing yourself systematically for your professional future. One great option is working in a Summer or Seasonal job. Opportunities for staff positions are best for persons with job experience gained in part-time or seasonal jobs, together with formal training. But you not only gain work experience, you also can start building up your social network.  Probably the majority of job vacancies are never posted in journals, newspapers or on-line and you only find them using the right contacts or your personal contacts – your personal “Network”. This also sometimes is called the “hidden job market”. Finding a job is all about people, the people you know, and people you meet who have the information and who will inevitably help you get a job. Even if Networking sounds complicated, in reality you just need to keep track of people you know in your personal and work environment. Professional contacts made during Summer or Seasonal jobs can be a one-stop resource for finding a full-time employment after college or a longer unemployment period.  

There is a difference between Summer and Seasonal jobs.  Summer jobs are typically offered when school is out (between Memorial and Labor Day). Seasonal jobs are obtainable for a longer time period. Examples are ski season jobs that usually run from November into April or Tax jobs which are typically available from January through April. At some resorts, high season is the summer and in other cases, winter is the prime time to find employment. The “season” depends on the kind of position, the industry, and when there is a need to hire to fill jobs.

An unusually large number of part-time, seasonal, and volunteer jobs can be found in the recreation field. These jobs include lifeguards, craft specialists, summer camp counselors, and after-school and weekend recreation program leaders. College students and teachers take many jobs as recreation workers and there are also many unpaid volunteers assist paid recreation workers. Unpaid volunteers services are of course only the second choice but might be as valuable as paid jobs for your resume. The vast majority of volunteer jobs are offered in hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers, YMCA´s, as activity leaders at local day-camp programs, in youth organizations, camps, and other settings. Some volunteers also serve on local park and recreation boards and commissions.

Hiring managers will read carefully your resume with evidence of your commitment and experience gained through part-time work during school, jobs in summer or volunteer experiences which will set you apart in a job pool filled with candidates with similar backgrounds, giving you the advantage you need to succeed.

Oswald J. Eppers is manager of the consulting firm E&R InterConsult and founder of the Two-Approach Job Search Guide for easy and effective Job Searching and Career Assessment. Browse his “> Summer and Seasonal Job Database to find thousands of vacancies.

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