Nearly every college student has learned the struggle of the stereotypical “broke college kid.” For most, work falls in somewhere between studying and socializing. Chances are, you know (and are envious of) these different types of college workers:
The laid-back work study student: Sits behind the front desk of a residence hall or cafeteria—basically, the easiest job ever.
The bartender/waitress: Works until 4 A.M. but makes the money of royalty selling cheap beer at the local college bars.
The perpetual intern: Somehow always has a relevant internship and actually gets paid for it.
The campus rep: Manages to get a ton of free clothes or accessories (in addition to pay!) in exchange for passing out free samples
Every job has its upsides and downsides, but there’s something to be learned in every position, from work study to professional-level internships. If you don’t think you can learn something from one of these positions, think again! Internships aren’t the only way to beef up your resume. Every job provides you with transferrable skills you can use to not only earn money in the present, but to secure future employment.
Think of it this way:
The laid-back work study student: Responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly. Of course, the job seems easy, but there are times when you have to enforce small rules and take the heat from angry students. You play a key role in keeping campus safe. You gain experience by following company policy and maintaining environmental awareness.
The bartender/waitress: Excellent customer service and listening skills, in addition to some killer multi-tasking abilities. You have been treated poorly while maintaining a positive attitude. These are the kind of skills that often can’t be learned in any other environment.
The perpetual intern: Well-versed in office politics and confidentiality. You’ve run errands, built trust with management, and helped on some great presentations. The practical experience in your field of choice is helpful, sure, but knowing how to cooperate in an office environment is crucial.
The campus rep: Skilled at brand representation and sales. Sure, you take the swag, but as a campus representative, you’re driving sales and getting people to believe in a product and a brand. That’s important in an employee.
So, if you think your part-time college job is only a paycheck, think again!