When it comes to a part-time job, what exactly do you want out of it? Obviously – a paycheck. It will be nice to feature some work experience on your resume as well. And perhaps even a reference for your future job search.
There is, however, more that you can get from your first part-time job that may seem a little less obvious than the above.
Many part-time jobs during the summer or college can lead to full-time jobs after graduation. That’s in large part because getting your first real job is a lot about who you know (yes, the old saying really is true). So as you make your way through the part-time job search and time spent working, here are ways to make the most of your experience.
1. Volunteer to do more.
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Oftentimes, managers and supervisors are looking for employees who will take on special projects or work outside of their typical job role on occasion. When those opportunities present themselves, jump on them. You’ll never know who you meet by working in a different department or on the client-facing side of a business.
Outside of who you may meet, you’ll also gain a new set of skills and be able to ask questions about roles outside of your own. This gives you even more work experience to showcase on your resume and in interviews.
2. Go above and beyond for customers.
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As an employee, you don’ t have to limit your networking to those you work with, especially if you interact with clients on a regular basis. A client-facing job can be anything from working as a receptionist in an office to working retail or fast food. In any of those roles, you are meeting people every day who work in a variety of roles within diverse industries.
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As you serve them in the workplace, keep in mind that you are making an impression on them. Show them that you are hard-working, motivated and curious to learn more. If they work in an industry that interests you, don’t be afraid to ask if they have a few minutes to answer some questions for you – like what did you study in school? What jobs did you have before this role? What is the recommended school and/or major to best prepare for a role in the industry?
3. Be an optimist in the workplace.
Work is – well, work. There are definitely going to be days when you don’t feel like showing up or clients and co-workers that you’d rather not see or work with on a daily basis. But you can’t let those thoughts and attitudes rule your demeanor in the workplace.
As you work in your current role, you’re setting the foundation for your next job. If you want to work at the same company again or stand out in the way you work with customers, a great attitude will get you a lot farther than a bad one.
4. Network covertly.
Sometimes, managers and supervisors don’t look too kindly on current employees networking for their next job. Though it may not be the case, it appears as if your mind isn’t invested in your current role, which can be problematic. Remember that the focus of your current job is just that: your current job. You can plan and prepare for your next job or role, but your attention needs to be on the job you have now and how you can be the best employee possible.
Networking for your next job and being a stand-out employee at your current job really go hand-in-hand. As you work ambitiously through your day-to-day responsibilities, you’re showing anyone watching and working with you that you’re the type of employee that they would want to work with someday. So don’t be afraid to ask questions, strive to go above and beyond for everyone and work today like you’re working for tomorrow – because you are.