For a lot of people the summer offers two options:
- Party! Go on adventures or vacation, hang out with friends, and do whatever you want.
- Fine tune your skills. Get some job experience. Gather references.
Instead of choosing one or the other, why not choose both? There are tons of summer jobs out there—even though you think you maybe should have started looking back in March or April. Depending on what you want to do, and where you want to go, the website http://coolworks.com is a great search tool. They offer work by specific job area, like hospitality, internship, or guide jobs. It also lets you search by state, season, or national park. And what’s more? These places are still looking for employees. Some positions run through September, but others are okay with you heading back to school in the fall.
Here are some steps toward finding a good summer job:
- Create goals to keep yourself on task, whatever your task may be.
- Think about the kind of lifestyle you can handle for an entire summer: Do you need a city nearby? Do you need your own car? Would you prefer countryside or forest? A lot of these jobs are in the middle of nowhere, but if you search, you can find something more populated.
- Once you’ve found a place you like, surf their website or call and ask if they provide food and housing. If they do, ask how much it costs. Assuming they pay you at least minimum wage for the position you take, will you take home enough at summer’s end to make the difference worth it? If you get a serving job, chances are you’ll take home more than anyone else. WARNING: Not all serving jobs are tipped. But summer jobs are a good place to get experience if you want it.
- Does this place have cell phone reception? Wifi? If not, how far will you have to go to find these things? Maybe it’ll be good to not be tempted by texting and Facebook for a while.
- The application and interview process may be weird. They will ask you to submit an application and maybe a letter of recommendation and a picture. Interviews happen over the phone or not at all. Be prepared for strange questions. Most small places are friendly and easygoing; but national parks can be rough and ask a lot of questions. Don’t be intimidated. What have you got to lose? Just move on to the next application if you don’t get your first choice.
- When you get there, if it isn’t what you expected, then try to make the most of it. If you really hate it, it’s okay to leave. People do it all the time. But tough it out first—make sure you gave it a chance. At least later you can say you tried. It’d be awesome to tell your friends: “I worked at Yellowstone.” How many people can say that they’ve worked at America’s first national park?
This post was written by guest blogger Alita Savory