As we get ready to go home for the summer, we have a big question on our mind: should we work a summer job? It’s a tricky question with no right or wrong answer, so how do we know if we should apply or not? By reviewing over these pros and cons, you may find what works for you.
Pros of Working Over the Summer
Cash. Moola. Dough. Dinero. Whatever you want to call money, you almost certainly need it. There’s no denying that being a college student is expensive, even when you’re on break. Saving up for the next school semester can help you avoid any chance of going over budget on coffee runs, textbooks, or trips out with your friends.
Of course, you also need to keep in mind any student loans you may have. Paying off your student loans while in college, even if just a few bucks a month, can be a huge benefit. Use your summer cash to jumpstart your repayment early. You’ll thank yourself for it in the future.
You may also want to work a summer job for the bonus lines it will add to your resume. Taking on a summer job, especially if you do the same one every year, shows that you are responsible, professionally minded, and serious about what you do. If you impress your bosses, you can bank on them for recommendation letters or to help network up.
Finally, don’t knock working as a way to just get out of the house! While you may think what you need is to sit back and enjoy some R&R, after a few days or weeks of it, you most likely will grow restless. A summer job can give you a consistent schedule, goals to work towards, and a social group to hang around with.
Cons of Spending Your Break on the Job
While most summer jobs are flexible, others may not allow you to take a vacation or time off for any summer classes. This means that your summer break becomes only summer work. Be sure to ask about scheduling vacays in advance and think through this major con before signing on.
There’s also the work itself to consider. While you may be okay making a few bucks an hour walking dogs or flipping burgers, work like that will not go far in the long run. Instead, consider alternatives closer to your career plan like interning with a startup or writing for a website like OCM as a trendsetter.
Summer jobs are also not ideal if you plan on using your break to play catch up with classes or have a packed season working on college related activities. Don’t let summer job demands make you forget that you’re a college student first and your academics take priority as much as possible.
Work vs. Play: The Big Summer Question
I think we all know that our ideal summer is sitting on some beach with our friends nearby. But, in the real world, money needs to be made and we need to focus our energies on what comes after college — and that includes working towards our professional goals.
However, before you start filling out applications, make sure you review the vacation policies, the type of work you’ll be doing, and your schedule. Being honest with yourself about what you can and cannot handle can help you answer the question on if you should take on a summer job.