Jobs That Balance Benefits with Fun
Because much money does not a good summer job make.
By Mykaela Alvey, Anderson University
If you’re like countless others who need to search for a job this summer, there are certain things you should know.
You may be of the mindset that a job is just a job, but I don’t believe there is any real truth to the statement. Sure, a job is a general term, but you certainly don’t want to be stuck in a horrible job for the next three months while the sun is out and shining. Even though you have to work, you should still be able to enjoy your summer break in all its glory.
Ideally, you should be able to balance real experience with having fun as well.
After all, you won’t be in college forever, and there will soon come a day when a summer break is obsolete.
Not every summer job is the same, and some depend on your level of skill, but any of these jobs will help you gain workforce experience and have a good time in the process. A few will even help increase the thickness of your wallet, which is always a plus.
1. Summer Camp Counselor
If you’ve never worked for a camp, I highly recommend the experience. The work will be harder than most jobs you’ve had, but the experience is incredibly worth your while. Not only do you work hard every day making a week special for hundreds of kids, but you meet great people. The kids are (typically) great and full of energy for the week.
You’ll likely have a staff in most jobs you get, but a camp staff is a whole new level. Working with a staff at a camp creates a bond like no other. You are united by the incredibly long days, rude people and miniature disasters. You work together, live together and relax together. A camp staff only remains a staff for about a few weeks. Before you know it, you’re a camp family.
However, the biggest plus of the job is the money you’re able to save. The great/hard part about working at a camp is how incredibly demanding the work is and long the hours typically are. But because you work long hours, your down time is much more chill than typical down time.
What I’m trying to say is that you hardly spend any of the money you make. Can you say money saver? The two summers I worked at a camp were the best and hardest summers I’ve ever had, and I ended up with much more money in the bank because of them.
2. Ice Cream Parlor
Alright, who doesn’t like ice cream? Before I worked at a camp, I spent four summers working for a homemade ice cream place. Does that not sound awesome? The first and most important thing I can say for my time there is FREE ICE CREAM. Is there anything better? Man, I’m not even sure you’d need to pay me if I get free ice cream out of the gig.
Well, that’s a lie. I would really prefer to be paid for the work!
Working for an ice cream parlor isn’t horribly unique, but you’ll learn valuable lessons in team work, time management and people skills. I can’t tell you the amount of times I was asked, “Um, do you sell sno-cones here?” Hmm, let me think, no. The sign says ice cream.
You may not earn as much money as working at a camp because you have more free time to spend it, but you’ll at least get discounted ice cream, if not free ice cream for your time and effort. I’d say it’s well worth your commitment.
Attempting to land an internship is especially important the further along you get in college. The nice thing about getting an internship is that you get to spend the summer doing something you obviously love since you chose it as your major.
Internships vary in what you’ll get payed, but the experience is really the reason to do it. However, you would be surprised by the amount some will pay you. Jobs in healthcare, for example, typically pay much more than others. My sister recently got hired to work for a hospital this summer. Let’s just say she’ll be treating me to a few dinners.
Other internships may not pay quite as much and some don’t pay anything at all. But when it comes to internships the experience you get to put on your resume far outweighs the money you would earn.
4. Freelance Writer
Getting any kind of job in writing depends on the skills you have, but if you can write fairly well, I definitely recommend writing freelance for magazines, newspapers and more. You would be amazed at how much money you can actually make doing this. From the research I’ve done, you commonly see people getting paid $150 or so, but there are a few places where you have the opportunity to earn $300-$400 for an article. You can’t beat that!
The best tip I can give is to research the magazine or newspaper you want to write a piece for.
Something you’ll discover in writing is that everyone wants a different style. If you make sure to carefully research the type of pieces and the style of writing a business wants, you’ll find it is much more realistic to actually get your piece published.
The best thing about freelance writing is the schedule. And by schedule, I mean lack of schedule! You get to choose when you want to write, what you want to write and who you want to write for. Sure, you may not get every article chosen for money, but the ability to create your own schedule and adjust and fluctuate how much money you hope to make is a nice freedom.