Q: School is all but out and I need to find a summer job. I am a management major and would like to find something that will enhance my resume when I graduate in a couple of years.
On the other hand, I realize I've procrastinated and the good jobs are probably gone. How should I go about the process effectively since I don't have a whole lot of free time to devote to a job search until school is out?A: You are correct in realizing that many summer intern slots have been filled by employers. However, in most areas of the country summer jobs are not difficult to find this year. Tell your family and friends that you need a summer job and ask them to let you know about any openings they see. Be sure to keep your eyes open since retail establishments often post signs indicating that they are hiring. When you see one, don't hesitate to go in and apply.
Be flexible in accepting hours and schedules. Don't expect employers to work around your plans for the summer. I would encourage you to apply with a staffing services firm in your local area. Depending on your skills, you may have the opportunity to work in several different businesses over the summer, giving you valuable insight into how companies operate. Assignments obtained through staffing services are usually for multiple days and often last several weeks or months.
Develop a mindset that any summer job is related to your management major in that it will give you experience working with people and demonstrating good work habits. Treat your summer job with the same level of commitment that you would any other job. Arrive on time, give 100 percent effort, do your best and complete all of your responsibilities. The character you are developing will carry over from summer jobs into your chosen career.
Q: I manage a retail establishment in a high volume tourist area that depends heavily on college students during the summer. Most of the time they work hard, are fun to be around and the situation works to everyone's advantage.
One problem, however, seems to worsen every year and I'd like your advice before it happens this year. Young people have become bold telling me when they can work rather than waiting for the schedule and arranging their personal lives around their work schedule. Last year, several told me during interviews that there were certain weeks they couldn't work and when I let them know I'd try to accommodate, but couldn't promise, they informed me they were no longer interested in the job.
Then there were those who assured me they didn't need any time off, yet at the height of the summer, asked for two weeks off. When told it was impossible, they said, "I quit," and walked out leaving me in worse shape than ever. Do you have any suggestions or is this just a challenge over which I have no control?
A: Dealing with young, inexperienced employees can be a challenge, but it also can be extremely rewarding as you watch them mature.
Don't allow your discouragement to harden your outlook, but continue to be patient and work with your summer employees whenever possible. After all, it is their summer vacation and they deserve some time for fun. On the other hand, there is no excuse for irresponsibility as demonstrated by the employee who walked off of the job.
Keep meticulous records on your summer employees and try to gain a commitment for the next summer from those who are excellent workers. Repeat employees are great resources who can be models for the new ones.
For those who apply, look for any previous employment. Concentrate on those who had part-time jobs in high school and do not hesitate to check references. Through carefully worded interview questions and reference checking, you should be able to choose those who will demonstrate a higher level of responsibility. You are teaching work habits and skills that will follow these students into their careers.