Ah, the freedom of summer! Freedom to stay up late, sleep in, wear sandals, go on vacation. Freedom from schoolwork, classes, teachers, detention, and that annoying thing called the alarm clock. But wait, are you truly free? Not if you have determined it to be in your best interest to get a summer job. Summer can be your favorite time of the year, or your worst nightmare. It all depends on what you make of it. Here are some tips to help make your summer enjoyable (even while working).
Find A Job You Enjoy
For many, the advice to “find a job you enjoy” is sheer nonsense, and I can appreciate that reaction. I had my fair share of real winners during my years as a student. But that’s not to say it’s impossible to find an enjoyable summer job – it isn’t. Ultimately, the summer job you accept is going to fall in line with your priorities. If your top priorities are good wages and flexible scheduling, don’t be surprised if the actual work isn’t all that exciting. Conversely, if your top priority is enjoyable work, don’t be surprised if your wages are low and your schedule is inflexible. Enjoyable summer jobs are out there; it just might take a little re-ordering of your priorities to find one.
Enjoy the Job You Find
Ideally, we’d all be able to find the perfect job to fill up those warm summer days. But the fact of the matter is that many of us will end up settling for something…shall we say…less than perfect. If luck has dealt you a bad hand, you have two options: learn to enjoy the job or don’t. Learning to enjoy it involves separating the activities, responsibilities, and routines that you like performing from the ones that you dislike. Of course, make sure you do each part of your job to the best of your ability. But, by concentrating on the enjoyable parts of the job, you begin to see the entire job in a better light. Let’s say you work in a clothing store and really appreciate the time you have to chat with customers as they purchase new clothes. Instead of trying to make it through your six-hour shift, view the whole workday as a series of pleasant encounters with interesting people. Trust me – your shift will fly by.
Finally, remember to take a break from your summer job. Oftentimes, it’s difficult to justify taking a week off when it also means a week without pay. But trust me, vacations are extremely important for your health and sanity. A summer vacation without an actual vacation won’t exactly get you geared up for heading back to school. And even if you’re family isn’t planning to take a vacation together, it’s still good to get away from work for a short time. You can plan day trips with friends or spend your time doing what you enjoy. Come Labor Day, you’ll be glad you took that time off. And you’ll be more prepared to hit the books.
The most important thing to remember about your summer job is this: IT’S ONLY A SUMMER JOB. There’s no need to get all bent out of shape if things don’t go according to plan. Before you know it, summer will be over, and school will be back in session. Now that’s what I’m talking about.