The truth is, the best jobs for college students are those that help you get you your ideal job after college. There are many reasons why it is a good idea to have a job while you are in college, not the least of which is that the money will come in handy! However, taking a job simply for the money means failing to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity to jump start your post college career.
The single biggest hurdle newly graduated students face competing in the job market is their lack of experience. It is very difficult to impress someone that you can do a job you have never done before, no matter how good your grades were in school. It is even more difficult when you are competing with other, older applicants who may already have prior work experience in the profession. Therefore, the trick is to graduate from college with a resume that includes some real world experience working in your chosen field.
The temptation when conducting any job search is to take whatever job will pay you the most. However, these are not the years to put making money first. There will be plenty of time to pursue your financial ambitions after you graduate. While in college, you should make your primary focus getting your foot in the door of your chosen field.
That means getting experience, and the pay should be secondary to that goal. In fact, it is not uncommon for students to start working in their field through an unpaid internship. It is also not uncommon for those who start out working for free to start getting paid after a while if they show aptitude.
Of course, ideally you want to get paid from the start and it is indeed possible to find paying work that also furthers your career. Some fields are easier to find paying jobs in than others. For example, if you are in a business related field it shouldn’t be too hard to find an already existing business that might need you on the entry level. But if you are in an advanced scientific field or the liberal arts, your options may be more limited. Your school can often help you with your search by providing you with the names of firms and organizations that have hired other students in the past. How to find an internship by networking.
But don’t rely on your school to provide you with all the opportunities. If you know of a place that you would like to work or do an internship that your school has no relationship with, by all means pursue it on your own. You never know until you try what opportunities can open up simply by contacting the people you think can help you. Some places don’t have internships or hire college students simply because the chance to do so never came up. Perhaps they would be interested in letting you be the first.
Part time jobs and internships are great for your career prospects for reasons other than just giving you some experience on your resume. They also give you the chance to make your beginner mistakes in a less than fully professional role, mistakes that could prove disastrous if you were an official, full time employee. You also get a chance to meet and interact with people who are already working in your field and can give you tips and recommendations after graduation.
Make your college job a stepping stone to getting your post-graduation job. Getting that real world experience will make an enormous difference to your future job prospects. Don’t worry about the money that you may not make in your college years, that is not what a college job is supposed to be about. In the long run, you will more than make up the money you didn’t make on your job or internship with a faster, more secure career path after graduation.