Aimingly scrolling through a student job catalog at 2:00 AM is inevitable for any college student trying to advance their career. There are some excellent positions offered on behalf of the university; However, many of these functions can be somewhat exclusive. A higher barrier to entry combined with a lower number of positions results in many students obtaining a Appeal received The situation is under their request. The struggle of not having enough experience to reach the positions that Builds The experience can be a frustrating episode.
Although flashy internships may be an initial consideration for a part-time job, highly rewarding opportunities can be found in unexpected places. By searching for non-traditional publications through your local student job catalog, you can gain valuable experience rarely found in an office or classroom.
Realizing that my resume wasn’t going to cut it for the summer internships I wanted, my friend called on an opportunity she had recently missed: a bike shop. I had no mechanical experience and didn’t like bikes very much, but the rent had to be paid. After completing the low-risk interview process, I was scheduled to work immediately the following Sunday.
It ended up being an incredibly rewarding summer job.
Working in this bike shop was kind of like participating in a traveling circus. There were different businesses that specialized in different routines, all located in different locations. Bounce between stores for this and that, interacting now and then with other performers. Almost none of the staff had childhood dreams of working there, but they were part of the scene nonetheless.
The overall environment was very comfortable. This was not a job where balanced behavior is quite as mandatory as a collared shirt. We weren’t struggling for recognition or competing for promotions. We fixed the bikes and sold them – that was it. It was a relaxed and connected environment that provided some valuable learning opportunities.
While working under management there were very concessional stakes, no real deadlines, and no pressure whatsoever (quite frankly). Simply put, your job was to make sure things run smoothly by helping out however you can. It was your desire to learn new skills that determined what you did and your ability to adapt to change that kept you on the team.
I ended up falling in love with repairing and building bikes, the same way many of my co-workers did. It was this strange common interest we all shared that our friends outside of the store didn’t really understand. After studying under experienced mechanics, I became a specialist in diagnosing and correcting mechanical problems. Not only did these skills keep me on the payroll, but I was able to apply them outside of work. If I need some extra cash, I can buy a used bike at the store or Facebook Marketplace, fix it myself and then resell it for a good profit. For the sake of transparency, the bike shop paid me well enough that this practice wasn’t necessary. However, being able to apply the new skills I was learning made the job even more rewarding.
Plus, the extra beer money was nice.
Another thing I learned while working for a small (semi) business is that the scope of work you take on can be very wide depending on the company. These companies are more likely to encourage the employee’s ambitions by allowing them to help out and gain experience for things that weren’t necessarily in the job description. I worked with a young mechanic in the shop who helped design and manage the company’s website, just because he could. The traditional work environment usually assigns this task to a dedicated web developer, but in the store, this kind of initiative has been encouraged. You are unlikely to encounter this functional flexibility in a more traditional training.
It’s easy to feel that your peers are being outdone by interesting training opportunities – even if their parents know someone who knows someone. Although such situations may have a certain status during Thanksgiving family interrogations, they do not enhance an individual’s career path or even guarantee a sense of accomplishment. You can learn valuable lessons while discovering new interests almost anywhere, regardless of title or salary.
By putting aside preconceived notions of success, you are more prepared to find the things you actually enjoy doing. Isn’t that the point?
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