Summer Jobs and Future Careers

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: January 16, 2012

Everyone has worked a summer job at some point. For some those jobs may be their true calling, but for many they are a place to gain some valuable skills and foster passion for their future careers.

Read on to see the most popular summer jobs our readers held, and how the skills learned there can help in preparing for a future career. 

Babysitter

Respondents who had this summer job 35.9%

A babysitter must learn the fundamentals of relating to young children.
Valuable skill for careers in: Child Care

Young children get in a lot of scrapes. Successful babysitters learn to use basic first aid techniques and how to calm a nervous patient.
Valuable skill for careers in: Nursing

A babysitter must learn to keep the attention of young children and relay certain life lessons. Some babysitting jobs may even require you to help a child with school studies.
Valuable skill for careers in: Elementary Education

Retail Sales Clerk

Respondents who had this summer job 28.6%

Watching what products sell and what do not.
Valuable skill for careers in: Buying

If you are going to succeed at your summer job in retail sales you need to learn how to convince a customer the need your products.
Valuable skill for careers in: Sales

From time to time you will need to deal with returns and customer issues.
Valuable skill for careers in: Customer Service

Office Assistant

Respondents who had this summer job 28.6%

Working in an office exposes you to the different office policies and procedures.
Valuable skill for careers in: Office Administration

If you pay close attention you may be able to observe how and why the business functions. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.
Valuable skill for careers in: Management

Office assistants have an opportunity to learn a variety of clerical functions.
Valuable skill for careers in: Executive Assistance

Lawn/Yard Maintenance

Respondents who had this summer job 24.1%

Yard work requires a basic understanding of various lawn and garden maintenance techniques as well as the care of a variety of plants.
Valuable skill for careers in: Grounds Keeping

Working on a lawn or yard teaches you what kinds of landscaping will work best in different climates or ground types.
Valuable skill for careers in: Landscape Architecture

Working in lawn and yard maintenance may also require an understanding of the properties of certain plants and their lifecycles.
Valuable skill for careers in: Botany

Fast Food Worker

Respondents who had this summer job 23.8%

A Fast food worker is often called upon to up sell… "Would you like fries with that?"
Valuable skill for careers in: Sales and Marketing

A fast food worker learns about efficient production techniques.
Valuable skill for careers in: Manufacturing

Fast food workers often need to deal with difficult customers while still maintaining a pleasant disposition.
Valuable skill for careers in: Customer Service

Wait Staff/ Busser

Respondents who had this summer job 23.2%

Wait Staff and Bussers learn what makes a restaurant function on a daily basis.
Valuable skill for careers in: Restaurant Management

A waiter is an advocate for the customers they serve. They have to be able to solve their customers’ issues with a smile and know where to go to get results for their customers.
Valuable skill for careers in: Customer Service

A waiter needs to be able to present a restaurants dishes in a manner that will appeal to a customer.
Valuable skill for careers in: Sales

Camp Counselor

Respondents who had this summer job 15.4%

Camp counselors must learn basic information about the local plants and wildlife.
Valuable skill for careers in: Forestry

Camp counselors often need to maintain a campsite without damaging the surrounding woods.
Valuable skill for careers in: Conservation

Camp counselor must be able to familiarize children with information.
Valuable skill for careers in: Elementary Education

Lifeguard

Respondents who had this summer job 12.7%

A lifeguard must have a firm grasp of basic life saving techniques.
Valuable skill for careers in: Emergency Medicine

A lifeguard must be able to influence the behavior of large groups of people with an eye towards the safety of every individual.
Valuable skill for careers in: Security

A lifeguard must understand the rules of the swimming area and be able to enforce them with the patrons.
Valuable skill for careers in: Law Enforcement


Kitchen Staff/Bakery Staff

Respondents who had this summer job 11.9%

Working in a kitchen requires knowledge in basic food preparation techniques.
Valuable skill for careers in: Caterer

It is important for kitchen staff to understand how a kitchen works and how all the different staff members fit together.
Valuable skill for careers in: Chef

Kitchen staff must learn how to make preparations according to certain specifically outlined specifications.
Valuable skill for careers in: Lab Technician

Gas Station Attendant

Respondents who had this summer job 10.2%

Gas station attendants often learn the basics of how complex machines function
Valuable skill for careers in: Engineering

Gas station attendants learn the basic needs of keeping an automobile running.
Valuable skill for careers in: Fleet Management

Gas station attendants may need to deal with customers who are worried about one of their most important possessions. They must be able to calmly help a customer to find a solution to their problems.
Valuable skill for careers in: Customer Service

Now that you know that there is more to picking a summer job than just short term cash flow benefits, forward this on to someone who may be currently thinking about a summertime job.

Find Jobs:
Babysitter
Retail Sales Clerk
Office Assistant
Lawn/Yard Maintenance
Fast Food Worker
Wait Staff/ Busser
Camp Counselor
Lifeguard
Kitchen Staff/Bakery Staff
Gas Station Attendant

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