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July 20, 2013

A Word of Advice: Job doesn't mean end of fun in the summer

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The Daily Star

---- — Summer jobs are great during the summer. You can use them to put away some extra cash for things such a future schooling or a car. 

However, working a summer job can be challenging with everything else that goes on during the summertime. Some people have summer work in school to attend to, while it’s also important to keep up with the lives of friends during the summer months, even when multiple people have multiple jobs they need to take care of apart from one another. This is why when working a summer job, there are many techniques you can use to get your priorities and advantage over your circumstances.

First and foremost, time management can give you more time than you previously thought you had. If you allocate a little bit of time every night after your paid job to work on school work and build it into routine, work for school should fit totally fine with your job. If you need to, you can even set a little time aside to do things like nap if you’re tired out from hard work during the day. 

Seeing friends is also a challenge with different job times, so a good thing to do is to plan a big event to go to with them like a concert, and arrange to take off on the same day with that friend to have something big to enjoy together since you may not get to see one another as often as every week. It works even better if you plan with a friend or friends to work at the same place, so you can see each other at work. That way, if you want to do things together outside of work, your hours are similar and you can carpool back to work afterward. However, working with friends can sometimes challenge the professional nature of some occupations that employers may expect, so both people should go into the job knowing it won’t be summer camp or anything like that.

Maintaining peace in the workplace with your bosses or co-workers is important, too. It’s important, while working, to pick your battles with the people you work with carefully. Even if some of your co-workers aren’t working as hard as you, or even if you think they’re purely slacking off, you should still avoid ragging on them too much to prevent tension while working around them. After all, most of the time you don’t have a choice in who you end up working with on things. Sometimes your boss will purposely make you work with someone he thinks you don’t like to try to make you two get along better. It’s also best to stay on the best terms you can in any way possible with your boss, since he chooses your hours and whether you get things such as raises. So, kissing up can sometimes be worth the humiliation it can bring.

Being strict on yourself is important if you plan on putting away money from your earnings as well. It can be tempting to go and blow a huge paycheck on something we feel that we need right away when we first see it. What I do is put away a percentage of my income every week I get my paycheck, just to keep things uniform and consistent. So aiming to put away a little more or less than half of your paycheck a week toward future large purchases is always a good idea. Once you get a large sum of money put away, I doubt you’ll want to spend it, though!

A new summer job can be scary and exciting, but it’s always important to remember that you can have both a job and a life. This is a balancing act that’ll have to maintained throughout life, so high school is a good time to get practicing, so, go fill out some applications!

Austin Czechowski is a rising junior at Cobleskill-Richmondville High School. Would you like A Word of Advice from him? Send him an email at adviceaustin@gmail.com, or send him a letter to “Teen Talk: A Word of Advice,” C/O The Daily Star, P.O. Box 250, Oneonta, NY 13820. ‘Teen Talk’ columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/teentalk.