By Matt Gardner
Buying a car, hunting for an apartment and landing a summer job are three of the most tedious and painful experiences you may ever encounter. With patience and the right tools, finding a summer job becomes less of a chore and more enjoyable once you know what you’re looking for. A summer job can help you greatly in the future – especially when it comes time for writing a resume after you graduate.
If you’re looking just to make money, you’re taking the wrong approach.
It sounds delusional, but it’s true despite your parents enforcing the, “It’s summer, you pay for it” rule. If you find a job based on the money you’ll hate it — I guarantee it. The stress isn’t worth the extra few bucks and once the stress kicks in, you won’t be as good at your job any more. The more fun you’re having, the better you’ll be at your job and the better you are, the more money you’ll make. It’s the passionate ones that eventually make all the money.
Find something that you love to do.
Find something you’re passionate about and run with it. If you like sailing try teaching younger kids how to sail. Not only do you get to sail, but you’ll make new connections that will help in the future. Don’t like working for other people? Do you own thing; be a self-starter. Like fashion? There are plenty of fashion gigs no matter where you are, but you can always do more. Start a blog in your spare time about fashion. You can do the same thing with cooking or anything that you’re passionate about. The more you show your passion, the more people will follow.
The moment you walk into any store, restaurant or business that the people like what they are doing, are doing it just for the money, or are complete zombies. The people that like that they are doing have passion and will make the experience enjoyable simply because they like what they do. Don’t do something unless your passionate because the people you encounter will remember it.
It’s all about who you meet.
The connections you make during the summer are ineffably important. You’re building an audience for your future with every hand you shake or every peer you meet. These people are your most valuable assets. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve used connections to help start my own business, make other connections, and grow professionally.
Finally: don’t quit. This is the most important rule of being successful. The summer is only three months long. If you land a job that you hate, it’s better to stick it out until the end, than to quit because once you quit you’re now a quitter and nobody wants to work with a quitter. The second best advice is to find a job that you won’t hate so you don’t put yourself in the position of feeling like you have to quit. Take your time and explore every opportunity. Money will follow passion. Chase your passion this summer, you’ll be glad you did.
Matt Gardner is a 22-year-old entrepreneur from Annapolis, Maryland. He’s the founder of Rockadoo, Summer Sweat and Use Reminders. He formerly worked for Apple in Cupertino, California. Matt is passionate about hockey, technology, cooking and loves marrying technology with simplicity.