Summer Jobs: The Reality
August 8, 2012
By: Meg Dixon
We all know the feeling. You’ve been out of the exam hall barely five minutes, you’ve just sat down in front of the TV with a cuppa (or ice cold beverage, if that’s how you roll!), and that dreaded question comes from your parents. You knew it was coming, but this soon?! ‘So, now you’ve finished all your exams, when are you going to get a job?’ will be the first question on every parent’s lips, and the last question you want to think about at this moment in time! Having survived all year on your student loan, the thought of having to work all summer makes you break out in hives, but here at HerUni, we’ve got the low down on summer jobs, so you can work out which one, for you, is the least painful way of earning some shoe (I mean, rent) money over the summer!
1) The Shop Job
The Fantasy: Idling the hours away sat at a till, putting the shopping of a sweet old lady through every few minutes, whilst gazing out the window and making lots of money, as well as full use of your employee discount (especially handy if you work in a clothes shop!).
The Reality: Hard, hard work! The reality is that when working in a supermarket you’ll be expected to try your hand at lots of different things, so whilst one day you might be rushed off your feet during that busy after work period sat at a till, the next you’ll be on your tiptoes trying to place some beans on a top shelf! The days are long, but working in a shop means you’ll get to know your co-workers and all become friends, which makes things that little bit more bearable. Also, this is not the job for you if you are 1) not a morning person or 2) a little grumpy as to appear approachable to your customers you’ll need to be smiley and alert at all times…. And there are a fair few early starts!
2) The Bar Job
The Fantasy: Pouring pints for handsome rugby players whilst looking glamorous behind the bar in a happening nightclub! Lots of late nights with trendy people, and lots of lie ins whilst having the whole day free to hang out with your friends!
The Reality: Realistically, how often do you see handsome rugby players in a pub? Chances are you’d get stuck serving old men who could be a little…ahem over-friendly after a few too many beers! Also, bar work can be manic at the weekends, leaving you rushed off your feet and very tired – wishing you could be tucked up in bed with a cuppa! Although the job might seem great fun, there’s a scary legal side to do with serving people who are underage, something to watch out for if you’re not the most observant of people like myself. And lie ins are great, but chances are you’d miss those nights out with your friends.
3) The Hotel Job
The Fantasy: Working in a glamorous hotel like the Hilton, changing luxurious silk sheets in an adorable maid’s uniform, whilst accepting generous tips from friendly guests.
The Reality: Hotel jobs start very, very early. Like, at that time of day when most sane people are unable to function. While there’s a certain sense of glamour about wandering around a grand hotel (if you’re lucky enough to work in one of those, as opposed to your standard bed and breakfast), all the glamour goes when you have to don those rubber gloves and get to work cleaning someone’s disgusting toilet seat. And unfortunately, as you’re the chambermaid, there’s no-one else to do it for you! It’s a fast paced business, so if you tend to drift away with the fairies, it’s maybe not the one for you, and if you can’t make a bed without getting inside the sheets, just don’t even try!
4) The Café Job
The Fantasy: You’d love to work at a pretty café down by the beach, giving Mr Whippy’s to sweet children, and oogling the topless teenagers while taking orders for lunch from happy holiday makers.
The Reality: Café work can be really relaxed and enjoyable, but it can also be very, very hectic! Unfortunately, you’re more likely to encounter stressed parents trying to buy lunch for about a hundred children, all of whom need their meals altered as they’re vegetarian/diabetic/don’t like onions/etc… And it’s your job to remember everything and add it all up very quickly in your head. Not to mention the way your heart sinks when you see an entire school party approaching for Mr Whippy’s, which let me mention are not as easy to make as you’d think! Also, this job is very dependent on our Great British Weather, so if we have a rubbish summer, that’s no money for you.
5) The Theme Park Job
The Fantasy: What great fun! Taking in the sun while lazily pressing a button here and there for the tea cup ride, conversing with cheery tourists and having a cheeky go here and there on the big rollercoasters…
The Reality: Working in the entertainment industry is great as it’s meant to be fun: the people you’ll encounter will be a lot more cheery than those you bump into doing their weekly food shop! In theory anyway, the major problem with theme parks is the ginormous queues that build up, and this leads to moany children and fed-up parents. And as a result, whether you work in the rides department or not, you will inevitably get agitated dads and bored mums complaining about…. Just about everything! So not the job for you if the thought of that makes you quiver… and FYI, the free rides on the rollercoasters rumour is just that, not true!
6) The Childcare Job
The Fantasy: Maybe babysitting over summer, maybe helping at a summer school, maybe running a kid’s club. You can just see yourself becoming best friends with all the children, chatting with the girls about ‘One Direction’ and impressing the boys with your knowledge about ‘The Avengers’. Working with children – what could be better?
The Reality: Anyone that has a younger sibling will know, it’s not all plain sailing! As great as kids are, there will inevitably be times where you just want a few seconds of peace and quiet, and with small children that just isn’t an option! Working with children is great fun, but you have to be ‘on it’ all the time – no rolling in late and hungover!
7) The Festival Job
The Fantasy: Working at your favourite festival in exchange for a ticket to see all your favourite bands. Chilling with a drink in the sunshine with your best friends, just picking up the odd bit of rubbish here and there… Best job ever?!
The Reality: You might not be getting paid, but it’s still a job that you have to show up to and be relatively alive for! Although I’ve never worked at a festival myself, I vaguely remember a friend of a friend going off at 8am in a hung-over state to direct buses into the camping grounds – not fun! And unfortunately you can’t say ‘But N-Dubz are my favourite band everrrr, I can’t work!’, so you need to be prepared to compromise. And the one major downside? You’re not getting paid. At all!
8) The Dream Internship
The Fantasy: You’ve bagged that summer-long internship for your dream job, and you can just see yourself hopping onto the tube everyday with a Starbucks in hand, impressing your boss with your amazing ideas and getting amazing experience that – fingers crossed!- will get you a job in a few years!
The Reality: Internships are a fab way to get an insight into the industry, but can you afford to work for free? Once you’ve looked at the cost of getting to your internship, plus lunch, coffees, an outfit and all the other expenses, it could be that that dream internship is going to end up costing more than it’s worth! And, with many internships being 9 – 5 five days a week, you might miss out on that valuable down time everyone needs after all those exams and essays!
So, the choice is yours! All of these jobs are fab choices; it just depends on what makes you tick, and what you really can’t put up with! And just think, once you’ve sorted this, that’ll get the rent paid and your parents off your back. For now, anyway…
Images from: http://images01.olx.co.uk/ui/8/83/34/1280660072_107677934_4-PROFITABLE-FULL-FREE-OFF-LICENCE-SHOP-TO-LET-Leicester-Shops-for-Rent-Sale-1280660072.jpg;http://celovetalk.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/bar.jpg; http://www.easylondon.it/wp-content/uploads/chambermaid.jpg; http://now-here-this.timeout.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/DollyCafe003.jpg; http://www.parnhamfunfairs.co.uk/images/Tea_Cups_B.gif; http://www.easyaupair.com/info/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/children_playing.jpeg; http://www.fineartsla.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/montreux.jpg; http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4035/4473893903_e41b7d7a13.jpg; http://tvjam.co.uk/2012/04/26/2-broke-girls/