Want a Summer Job? Then start thinking about it now….

As well as being downright good fun, a summer job is a good way of putting some extra cash in your piggy bank as well as providing some useful experience for later job applications.

Do It Now!

Winter, with its floods and gails plus ice and snow probably still to come, may not feel like the right time to start thinking about it.  But as soon as the beach ads start to appear, it’s a sign that the holiday job market is about to take off.  Many companies and websites will be advertising summer vacancies with deadlines from February onwards so it is not too soon to start working out what sort of things might interest you.

And if you’re thinking of seeking foreign climes, the formalities of passport, visa applications and innoculations all take time, so it really is case of the earlier the better for getting the bureaucracy out of the way.  Don’t wait until passport offices and consulates are knee-deep in applications and all the flights are booked up.

Some Points To Think About…

Picking a summer job is a bit like a career decision in miniature, so it is worth thinking what you hope to gain from it apart from a suntan – as well as the fun and cash element.

Without sounding too boring, it’s a great opportunity to find out more about what you like and dislike in a workplace and to enhance those vital CV skills.  Just getting there will need some organisation and communication skills.  If you’re looking to enhance your customer service experience, there are loads of opportunities to do this.

You may be looking to enhance a particular area of your skills e.g. by coaching sport or working with disadvantaged people with future applications in mind.  And if you are set on a graduate traineeship in areas like law or business, a summer internship may be what you need – even if you end up seeing more of the water cooler than the swimming pool.

What’s Available?

An incredible amount… but if we do try and generalise, some of the obvious niches for summer and holiday jobs both home and abroad are:

  • Hotel, catering and bar work
  • Shop jobs
  • Temporary office jobs
  • Holiday reps, tour guides
  • Summer camps, playschemes and adventure schemes
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (especially in China and other Asian counrties)
  • Working in farms and gardens e.g. fruit picking and harvesting
  • Festivals, events and exhibitions
One slight ‘buyer beware’ message is however to watch out for providers who charge money for a foreign job or working holiday experience. A small amount to cover expenses may be reasonable enough but you should not need to spend £2000 for the privelege unless you are looking for something very exotic.  On the whole, you should be able to find paid opportunities if you stick with it.
Finding Out More

Many summer jobs are advertised on the University of Cumbria Jobshop and you can also follow up useful links we have gathered at http://delicious.com/skillzone/summer  or, if heading abroad is your plan http://delicious.com/skillzone/abroad
There is also a good number of books to help you research your ideal summer job and you should be able to find a selection of them in University or public libraries.