Employment Trends

7 Tips for Keeping Your Summer Job

Written by Joanna Hughes

Its summertime and you’ve landed a great job, and keeping it requires hard work. Since there is considerable competition in the workplace, it is important that you follow a few simple rules that show you have what it takes. Aside from a weekly paycheck, summer employment enhances your resume, and strong letters of recommendation from your employer go a long way when applying for another job.

How Many Summer Jobs Are There?

The number of summer jobs is holding steady but declining in some industries. Overall, the labor market swells in summer as workers 16 to 24 years of age find employment between April and July each year. In July 2014, 23.4 million individuals in this age group found summer employment, an increase of 1.2 percent over 2013.

Summer Jobs Vary by Industry

Overall, the food service industry had the highest percentage of employees during the summer months in 2014. Since restaurants hire more employees during summer vacation when presented with a burgeoning influx of patrons, this might be a good choice for your job search. The number of sales jobs accounted for about 24 percent, lower than in previous summers.

How to Prove Your Mettle

Once you have found the job that meets your needs, you want to keep it. Each job has certain demands, and meeting those requirements is important. Knowing what makes you a valuable employee is a step toward becoming one.

1. Be Punctual

Nothing is more important for keeping a business running properly. If one employee is late, it has repercussions on everyone. Leaving for work with time to spare makes sure that roadway conditions or traffic won’t affect you. Some successful employees make it a habit to be at work 10 minutes early every day. It gives them time to relax after the commute and get in the workday mood.

2. Be a Team Player

Remember you are part of a team, and team members support each other. Doing your job and helping another employee if asked, is what members of a team do. If a fellow employee is ill or has an important family affair, offering to switch shifts, or doing a double to help them out shows how much of a team player you are.

3. Be Neat

Looking neat is what customers see first. If you wear a uniform, make sure it is pressed and clean. Since you represent your employer as you interact with customers, this is something on which most businesses insist.

4. Show Initiative

Look around when your duties are at a momentary standstill for something that needs attention. For instance, tables may need to be cleaned, or display cases may need to be straightened. Making the effort shows you have initiative, a prized trait for an employee to have. In addition, letting your employer know that you are willing to take on extra work or shifts is valuable, and your paycheck will reflect the additional hours.

5. Stay in the Moment

Don’t be on Facebook or talking on your cell phone. That sends a message to your employer that something else is more important than doing your job. For an employer, having an employee who know how to work and puts other activities aside until work is over is essential.

6. Be Courteous

Being courteous to customers is vitally important, and both the business patrons and your employer will notice. If your job involves getting a tip, a smile and helpful demeanor may make the difference on how much a customer will leave.

7. Show Respect

Showing respect has a lot more to it than saying thank you. Responsibility is a form of respect, and being at work every day is your responsibility. If you are unable to be there, call in ahead of time and give your employer enough time to find a replacement for your shift. Some establishments let you make a shift change yourself, so having a good network of fellow workers is important. Don’t make the mistake of calling in sick to spend the day at the beach. It’s amazing how often a fellow employee or the boss will see you there.

Let you employer know if you would like to continue working on a long-term basis. If you have proven you have a strong work ethic, he or she might want to accommodate that desire.

How to Find a Summer Job

Using a job search site such as TheJobNetwork makes finding summer work easy. You can browse for jobs online or use the platform’s job match function. You upload your preferences and resume, and the system searches for matching jobs 24 hours a day. When appropriate jobs are found, you are sent an email alert. The jobs are ranked according to the information you entered.

About the author

Joanna Hughes

Joanna Hughes is a freelance writer who specializes in business, human resources and the job market. She lives with her family in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire.