It’s mid-May. You’re trying to find a job for the summer, or maybe an internship that will let you explore your career interests. With only a couple weeks until June, you think you might be running out of time.
Fear not! There’s plenty of ways to still find employment and they’re easier than you might think.
First off, apply. Apply! Apply! Apply! Walk into a business that interests you, that you can get to on a regular basis, or that you have the necessary experience for (even if it’s none), and just ask. I landed my first job after a morning of my mom driving me around town, popping into businesses and simply asking if they’d hire an eighth grader. After I was turned down three or four times, I got an impromptu interview and was told when to show up for my first day.
The same principle applies if you are looking for a career-oriented internship. Interested in marketing? Research local businesses and reach out to their sales and marketing managers. Hoping to become a lawyer? Contact local attorneys and ask if they might need summer help.
Just ask. The worst they can say is no.
Be a social (media) butterfly
Checking social media, especially local pages, is always a good way of finding last minute openings. Social media pages are convenient for job postings because they can be easily updated and would already be geared toward the business’s audience. Of course, double, triple, and quadruple check your own social media pages are professional and presentable before starting your search, but especially before engaging with a business online.
Keep looking for opportunity
Make it known that you’re in an active job search. You never know who in your life (friends, parents, or teachers) knows about an open position and just didn’t realize you were looking. They could have leads on new businesses or suggestions based on local news. They may even be able to make a role for you in their research lab or give you some shifts at their coffee shop.
Check your local coffee shop. Hidden among adverts for yoga lessons or yard sales, there could be Help Wanted flyers for seasonal jobs in your area. You could even post a flyer yourself and advertise your own availability. Make sure to include your contact information, but be mindful of posting in a public place and consider just using an email created just for your job search.
And, of course, search online. Scour TeenLife’s summer program listings for internship opportunities, research local businesses that might have opportunities, and check out the job listings on you town newspaper’s website.
Once your foot is in the door
If you get to the next stage, learn the interview buzzwords. Give examples of how you’re organized, quick-thinking, flexible, or a team player. If you’ve never had a job before, talk up your life skills or any achievements, big or small. Focus on things that might help you with the job specifically. What’s the role? How can you excel?
When you’re seeking a seasonal position or talking to a busy manager, employers might not invest that much time in an in-depth interview, so you should have your elevator pitch ready. You might be a great student, play sports, or act in plays. Employers are always going to be more apprehensive when hiring younger employees who might not have much (or any) work experience. Give them a reason to expect you to be responsible and dependable.
Work for yourself
Maybe you’ve exhausted all possibilities and still come up empty-handed. Try working for yourself. It could be the informal odd yard work job or babysitting gig, or you could try starting something new. Build a customer base, create a social media page.
Parents can share how great you are with kids or clients can rave about your attention to lawn detail. Monetize a skill like selling commissioned art, freelancing, or offer your services tutoring your best subjects. Learn to capitalize on your initiative. It’s a great addition to your resume for future employers or college applications.
Jobs are a great way to learn responsibility (and earn money). Just because you haven’t found a job by summer’s start, doesn’t mean you won’t find employment soon. The most important thing is to keep trying and you will prevail.