Today, we welcome another great guest post from our intern, Frannie Monahan. While aimed at college students, Frannie's suggestions are terrific for anyone seeking employment in today's challenging job market. Lisa
It is no little known fact that finding a summer job as a high school or college student is a major challenge. Between possessing little to no work experience and having to compete against a flood of family-supporting (and thus, prioritized) adults for the same positions, looking for work can seem pretty hopeless. I know. I’ve been there.
Just because I’m a part of a family owned business, doesn’t mean I have a built in job at home at all times. After all, I sort of owe my parents after 18 years of free room and board, chauffer services, weekly music lessons, and their unconditional love and impressive patience. Therefore, I too have had to do my fair share of summer job-hunting.
Thankfully, I have been extremely lucky when looking for jobs in the past. However, I have also watched many of my very talented, intelligent, and accomplished friends struggle with finding any work at all. So upon reflection, I’ve found that these are a few good methods to try when looking for a job as a young adult.
- Put Yourself Out There: Don’t cop-out after checking the local fast food joints and your neighborhood’s baby-sitting needs. Ask around your community. Somebody always needs help with something. Every summer during high school I worked at a local organic produce farm owned by some family friends. It was the best job I’ve ever had and I never would have found it if I hadn’t approached the owners and asked.
- Be Creative: Do you have a special talent or skill? Offer it to your community! I’ve been playing the cello for most of my life, so as I got older I began teaching cello lessons and finding events to play at with a few of my friends for money. People love to support entrepreneurship in the young adults of their community, and being your own boss is the greatest feeling ever. You just have to put yourself out there first.
- Volunteer: If you really can’t find a job anywhere, pick a place you might like to work and offer yourself up as a volunteer. Giving back to your community is one of the most gratifying things you can do, and it looks great on a resume. Plus, if all goes well, volunteering could lead to a job or a sparkling recommendation later on. At the very least, you’ve learned a new skill and gained an item for your resume.
Just because one in six people ages 16-24 can’t find work, doesn’t mean you have to give up on being one of the other five. Good luck, Job-Hunters! May the jobs be ever in your favor.
Your turn: Have you ever struggled to find a summer job? Do you have any job-hunting tips?
Franziska Monahan is journalism student at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. She is a member of both the production and news teams at the University of Oregon campus radio station, KWVA. She also contributes and produces stories for the new UO radio show, This Oregon Life.