When I was first starting my career, I remember working at a part-time job, thinking, “what a waste of time. This isn’t going to help me get my dream job.” Every day I would force that big smile and say, “would you like more coffee?”
I now work in Career Services at Seneca College, and I have met many students who pour coffee at a part-time job while they are going to school. Some of them also work at summer camps, retail stores or in construction. They all seem to have the same frustrations I did.
I know what it is like when you first meet someone and they ask, “so where do you work?” Suddenly, a rush of disappointment fills you as you feel your job does not showcase your potential.
Let’s be real for a moment; we all need to make money and working at a part-time job can give you valuable skills that may enhance your future, compliment your education and help you secure your dream job.
For instance, a customer service job helps you develop skills in team work, computer use, manual dexterity, financial planning and time management. You learn about business operations, health and safety regulations, store inventory and how to work with complex equipment. These are all skills and abilities that can be transferred to any future career and appeal to potential employers. In fact the Government of Canada has developed a detailed list of nine essential skills that enable us to evolve with our jobs and adapt to workplace changes. Some include document use, numeric skills, oral communication and working with others. All these skills will be required when you are working in your dream job. So with these things in mind, your part-time job suddenly turns into an opportunity to develop necessary skills in pursuit of your life after school.
So make the most of your part-time or summer job. You never know what you will learn. Harry S. Truman once said, “I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm and hard work.” The next time you are filling a coffee cup, remember you are filling your resume with valuable qualities that just may make all your dreams come true.
For more information on all employment services offered through Seneca College or how formal education and training can enhance your future please visit our website: www.senecac.on.ca