Published on May 30, 2017
Updated on Sep. 17, 2018
The start of the semester is the perfect time to be thinking about how to elevate each opportunity you have, and gain relevant experience for other areas of your life. Whether you landed an internship in town, or started working in food service, retail, or in an office on campus, you want to make the most of the experience!
Here are the Top 3 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Part-Time Job:
1. Develop Transferable Skills
There may be times when you’re at work that you feel like you’re just going through the motions. But in the process of fulfilling your day-to-day activities, you will be gaining skills that can be useful in other settings! When I worked at Panera Bread Company, I mainly thought of it as a way to make some extra spending money. What I didn’t realize is that I was developing skills in customer service, communication and team work as I fulfilled my daily responsibilities. These three skills have been unbelievably helpful in professional work environments, and have aided in my ability to answer interview questions with good examples to follow. Being aware of the work you do daily and the skills that develop from your effort will be undeniably helpful when you explore other opportunities.
2. Explore future career interests
Any work experience you have can contribute to how you develop your interests or preferences. Where you work now is probably not exactly where you want to be after graduation, but your work experience in college has the potential shape your future career interests! I was fairly certain I didn’t want to work in the food service industry after graduation, but my experience at Panera helped me to identify a few aspects of the job that I hope to have in a full time position. I loved the fast-paced environment of working on a busy morning, and also enjoyed interacting with people and providing them with a quality experience. When I begin applying for full time positions, I know I will be on the look-out for a position that can provide each of those aspects. Your job may not be related to your career, but you can discover aspects of the job that will help in influencing your future career interests!
3. Leave with a positive reference
At some point you may decide that you’re ready for another part time job, or you’re moving on to applying for a full time position. It is very seldom that a prospective employer will not expect a reference from a previous employer. Putting in your best effort at your current job can help to ensure a positive reference for future opportunities. Being punctual, friendly, and having a great work ethic at work can lead to a positive reference from your employer, so it’s important to keep this in mind when you’re at work each day!