Part 1- Tips for holiday/summer job searches for students/teenagers

CAREER, Career-Student

This is PART 1 of an Article Series on Holiday/Summer Jobs for Students/Teenagers

School and university semester holidays are around the corner. You may have decided to try to look for a part time or full time job in order to earn extra income and could not decide what type of job to choose.

If you are a student searching for a short term holiday job, try to locate one that is related to what you want to do, or provide skills that add value to your future job search. Getting holiday jobs that pays well may provide short term gains- the money’s may probably be spent getting the latest IPOD or tech gadget.  Invest in a part time job that would look good on your job search resume.

Now, what job would you choose? A job that is tougher but pay more, OR an office job that pays less but add value to your job resume?

Choice # 1: Jobs that requires low skills

Counter sales person, newspaper boy, work in fast food outlets or hypermarket workers

There are always openings for jobs like these. They pay relatively better than office jobs because of the shift requirement and working hours. If you work on public holidays or on Sunday, you may be paid additional rates. If you work more than your allocated hours, you are being paid overtime.

Advantages of a low skilled job:

1. Better Potential Earning Power

a. Because of the additional allowance and OT. These jobs are easier to find and do not require much qualification and formal training

2. Builds more endurance and self-discipline.

a. the job ‘toughens’ you up- especially if you are used to having your mom or maid taking care of your needs, being on your feet, carrying stuff, cleaning floors, scrubbing the toilets would make you more appreciative of those whose services you have taken for granted for so long.

b. You would also grow up to have more empathy towards these groups of people and would not look down or bully them

c. you learn to be more responsible- like showing up at the place at 8am to open the doors or going to work on Sundays because you know the store’s busy– even though you don’t feel like it.

3. A step closer to achieving your dreams

a. if your dream is to start your own bakery or cafe, then you learn the ropes by working in a cafe similar to one that you want to start. Nothing like experience- when it comes to your turn, your learning curve would not be so long


1. May not hold much water in your resume

If your dream job is to be an accountant or investment banker, then it is better if you omit your past job of working in an illegal cybercafe or a snooker center in your future resume. These jobs may pay better but it would not add value to your future job application.

I remembered once, my colleague (recruitment officer) interviewed a very good young chap for a position in my previous company.

My colleague had decided that he was the right candidate for the position but she needed to go through the usual routines of checking his records. It was found that he was once arrested for working in an illegal cybercafe.

When we queried him about it, the poor boy mentioned that he did not even know that the cybercafe was illegal- he was just working there to earn pocket money while waiting for his exam results (his family were poor).

One night, the police just suddenly raided the place and he was caught because he was working there. That incident scared his personal record- for probably a long while until he can get it cleared. Needless to say, he did not get the job. Some holiday jobs choices are just not worth getting into, not matter how much you are being offered.

2. Your social circle could negatively influence you

The company that you mix with in your workplace can influence your way of thinking, speaking and behaving. Especially if you are still in your teens or early twenties and may be easily influenced.

If you want to be successful in your life, you should be mixing with those who are able to provide some tips or teach you skills that you can well apply in your working life.

Many wealth gurus (Adam Khoo, James Authur Ray, Richard Templar, etc) have said that there are reasons why the poor remain poor and the rich get richer due to a poor-man’s mindset.

If you are mentally strong and can be immune to the habit of those who blow their salary within the first 3 days, or complain that the pay sucks, always blaming external circumstances for their misfortunes, smokes, gambles, or even do drugs- then by all means.

Else, the initial working experience may implant values that would shape your working attitude for years to come. Therefore, you need to becareful with the company of those you mix with at work.

In the next article, I would write about choosing an office job…


Article Series on Holiday/Summer Jobs for Teenagers/Students:

If you like this post, say thanks by sharing it:

Leave a Comment