Landing an internship or summer job can be a competitive process for college students, but often, these jobs don’t measure up to a student’s expectations. With summer now underway, we thought we’d touch base about what to do if a summer job seems like a dud.
There are a few reasons students tend to dislike their summer jobs. The big one is that they were hoping to do interesting work, and instead are assigned to mundane tasks. Perhaps they find themselves working for a difficult boss, or dealing with challenging co-workers. Maybe the industry isn’t what they thought it’d be, or the company culture, or they’re expected to put in longer hours than they’d initially realized.
If you find yourself in this situation, take stock of what’s really happening. Understanding why you don’t like the job may help you find a better fit in the future, or when you’re looking for a job after graduation.
Remember that the main purpose of a summer job during college, besides earning money, is to gain work experience and earn a great recommendation letter or reference from your supervisor. Focus on what you’re learning. If you’re not clear about your supervisor’s expectations, ask to briefly review them so that you can be sure to meet them.
Find ways to go above and beyond. Prove you can handle the projects you’ve been assigned, and there many be opportunities to do more than that.
Get to know people. There is no greater networking opportunity than getting to know your co-workers, and it makes the day much more enjoyable.
Even if you’re tempted to quit, stay the course.
Although it can be tempting, stay positive and keep perspective. A summer job isn’t forever, and it’s likely that you’re learning more than you even realize just by showing up every day ready to work.