How to Turn Your Summer Job into a Career

Alas, dear undergrads, summer is coming to a close. Oh the horror! Oh the inhumanity!

Well it time has come, ladies and gentlemen. There are about 3 weeks left until your triumphant return to classes. Last Thursday, my intern had her last day so now I return to double the workload. Nicole, if you ever want to come back, you are more than welcome! You know I’m a cool boss setting an unreasonable expectation for all future bosses. Also, I’ll forgive you for leaving if you bring me Starbucks!

Anyways, don’t feel so bad about starting school. Just think, in the real work world, there are no semesters and there is no summer break. The rest of us are stuck working 9 to 5, 52 weeks a year, with only 2-3 weeks’ vacation. Consider yourself lucky!

As summer ends, so do your summer jobs/internships. Here’s a little tidbitfor you to keep in mind for next summer: the youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24) is at an all time high of 15.1% and experts say we’re all basically screwed for the next 2 years…well they didn’t use those exact words, but that’s pretty much all I heard.

So how can you beat this gloomy statistic? Well, you have 2-3 weeks left on the job and what better place to find a job than right under your nose! Sure, you may be an intern but if you impressed your bosses during your work term, they might keep you on or offer you a position for next summer.

Now as everybody knows, the #1 thing to do is to work hard and I’m sure all the interns at your workplace do. You need to wow the bosses and really show what an asset you are to your workplace. Here are a couple of things you can do to give yourself an edge:

Help Out

During the summer a lot of people go on vacation so somebody else has to fill their spot. If you’re like me, you really can’t fill any of those spots. Another person at work has to fill it which will make them a lot busier and that’s where you can pop in. Offer your services in any possible way.

Coworkers really take notice of this and are always grateful when you can provide any help, whether it’s making a phone call or helping them prep for a meeting. Your coworkers will then become your allies when you’re going to ask for a job and provide helpful references for you.

Another benefit to this is that you are getting training for another potential job for yourself and proving that you can handle that job.

Go the extra mile

To me, this isn’t really something that you need to think about. Whatever you do, do it well and take pride in your work.

My job has recently required me to take on more of a support role. Whenever we have a meeting, I am the one to prep the boardroom. I wipe down the table and whiteboard, clear old papers and fix up chairs; then I prepare coffee and set out cups.

Now maybe it’s the waitress in me, or because I set the table at home, I always like to present the cups and coffee neatly in a row. It’s just common sense trying to “Wow” the clients, even if it’s something as small as arranging cups. (Seriously, impressing clients and coworkers is that easy!)

(Seriously, impressing clients and coworkers is that ? easy!)

I’ve recently been getting many comments from coworkers and clients on how elegant everything looks. To me it just seems like common sense not to just throw cups on a table and leave. It’s just a bonus to get recognition for it.

Another thing I do is once the meeting is over and I clean up, I take the coffee I made fresh for the meeting and go around the office asking who needs their cup topped up. Again, to me it just seems wasteful to throw it out but my coworkers love my “Flight Stewardess Service”.

A few other things I do include helping out with office chores and asking who may want some more water or tea if I’m heading down to top up my own. It’s the little things that can make a big impact.

Transition your summer job into a part-time job

Back in 2nd year I started working full-time at a bank. When school started up again, I decided to keep working at the bank for the extra cash and to help the staff out. I’d wake up, go to work, run to class and then run back to work. Because I kept working, I was easily offered a job there the following summer.

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean your job has to end.

Make yourself available for a part-time job. You can even offer to come in 5 hours a week to do some work (if you’re super nice, you can offer to work for free). That way you can transition your internship to a part-time job which will lead you into the next summer.

Make sure your company knows you want to stay! Put yourself out there and make the offers to stay. If you don’t, your boss will never know to offer you a job.

I’ve decided to break this blog post into 2. I’ll be posting the 2nd part on Thursday. The last few points of this blog are actually things that I’m hoping to implement right here at my work! If they don’t get me a permanent job, they’ll at least look really good on my resume!

So don’t forget to come back on Thursday to get the last part of this post, and what I think are the most influential things you can do to really impress your boss!

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