Summer jobs may be more plentiful this year than at any time since the recession. Take these tips to see if you can be one of the few to turn your seasonal role into a permanent one.
School’s out. Graduations are over. Summer’s here and the time is right for … going to work. (Sorry, you can dance in the streets on your day off.)
If you haven’t landed one already, the chances of getting a summertime job seem to be better this year than in previous years since the Great Recession. According to a Harris Poll released in May by CareerBuilder, more than a third of private-sector employers nationwide (36 percent) said they will be hiring summertime help this year — up from 30 percent last year and an average of 21 percent from 2008 to 2011.
While this is great news, it mostly applies to recent high-school grads and college kids looking to make a little dough before heading back to school. The vast majority of summer jobs, especially in retail, dry up by Labor Day, and hiring doesn’t start coming back until the end-of-year holiday season, so this kind of work doesn’t usually matter much to those looking for permanent work — or does it?
The same Harris Poll also found that a whopping 77 percent of respondents said they would consider making their summer jobs permanent. This is a huge opportunity for young job seekers to get their foot in the door, but it will never be an automatic promotion. Here are a few tips to become one of the rare few who can turn seasonal work into something permanent.
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Focus first on the job at hand. Those taking summertime work tend to fall into two categories: 1). those who don’t take the job seriously, since they know it will end (often teenagers), or 2). those who are too busy finding stepping stones that they mostly ignore their actual jobs. Instead, be the “third” type of person who just knuckles down, shows up on time and gets the job done as efficiently and as early possible.
Seek supervisor feedback. Instead of just following orders, ask your supervisors about how you’re doing. Establish a system in which you can get regular feedback and let them know you’re interested in extending your job beyond the summer, if possible. Make it clear that you have long-term plans for the job and that you don’t view it as just a chore in between semesters.
Ask for more. Whenever possible — and only after you’ve mastered the required tasks — ask to take on more responsibilities. Show your supervisors that you can take the initiative and help out the company in more ways than your initial job description.
If the company does have plans to keep anyone on in September, the hiring managers will want someone who knows the business, is enthusiastic about the work and can multitask. Follow these steps, and you’ll have demonstrated all three qualities.