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  • Writer's pictureAlison Merzel

Unsure about your summer plan? Get a basic job.

Last month I shared a blog post about summer programs for high school students that were worth exploring. This month I want to shed a different light on the best way to spend a high school summer - yes, there are countless exciting programs out there for students to hike the Appalachian trail, engage in experimental research through a pre-health academic track at an elite university, train in an acting conservatory, or work on a conservation project in South America...BUT, do you know what admissions officers might prefer you to do? Scoop ice cream or flip burgers.

Ice cream scoop
Salted caramel chocolate pretzel, please

10 benefits of pursuing a basic summer job while in high school:

1) It will teach you responsibility, accountability and teamwork.

2) It will teach you about the importance of good customer service and the impact it has on the consumer experience.

3) It will teach you about managing your money and give you your first taste of financial independence.

4) It will give you experience in decision-making and problem-solving.

5) It will expose you to the minimum wage economy and likely confirm your desire to pursue a college education so you can aspire to achieve greater job prospects.

6) It will help reveal which skills are your strengths and weaknesses and help you understand what kinds of tasks you do and do not enjoy.

7) It will give you a stronger appreciation for and understanding of people who work in retail and restaurant jobs.

8) It will ground you and help you connect with other people who may be completely different from you.

9) It will give you the opportunity to show initiative and potentially find ways to add value beyond the basic job requirements.

10) It will provide the foundation for developing a strong work ethic and treating colleagues and customers with integrity and respect.

Another perk of one of these jobs? Discounts on food or clothing from a place where you likely already spend money. Now, go explore your options so you can get to work :)

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