College is a place for learning, but one of the best ways to learn is by doing. If you've been keeping up with friends who have graduated, you know the job market can be a cruel and unforgiving place. To prospective employers, your GPA, your extracurricular activities and your major matter a whole lot less than the all-powerful "experience." You need a job!
In addition to the resume boost, a little disposable income can really take the pressure off your budget. Being able to finance a spontaneous road trip, a midnight taco run or a ticket to your favorite band's show without having to dig yourself further into debt is a great feeling. How can you squeeze in work experience between classes, projects and a social life? It's all about choosing the right job. Here are three jobs ideas.
1.) Retail sales
Getting a job working in sales is a great way to start a career in marketing, advertising, or business. It doesn't matter what you're selling, because you'll learn the fundamentals of convincing people to buy. Look for stores you shop at regularly. If you're a clothes horse, Kohls or GAP might be your best bet. If you're more outdoorsy, REI or Sports Authority could be a better fit. These places do most of their business after hours and on weekends, so you can work around your class schedule.
2.) Freelance writing
If you're thinking about a career in journalism, getting some bylines under your belt is a necessity. One of the best ways to do that is to sell your own work. Sites like Blogmutt will pay a few dollars for a few hundred words, while sites like Elance offer longer-term projects. Either way, the work is the focus, not the hours. You can tackle projects in your spare time, earn a little money, and build your portfolio in the process.
3.) Fitness instructor
You know you need to get to the gym anyway. Why not make a gig out of it? Teaching yoga or leading a calisthenics class can be a great way to get your sweat on while building your resume. If you plan to go into education or physical training, this experience will set you apart from your peers. Even better, you'll learn how to market yourself - which is a valuable skill in any endeavor.