We agree that gaining some understanding of many different social realities can be one benefit of students’ summer jobs, but there are many more. Unless you are a lighthouse keeper, virtually every job entails communication skills, and many present opportunities for teamwork and collaboration. Learning to deal with a cross-section of customers and a spectrum of management styles, whether working at a retail store, in a restaurant, or on a construction crew, can provide invaluable experience for later positions.
In the theater, there is a saying: “There are no small parts.” Likewise, there are no small jobs. Taking pride in every job we do, staying engaged in the work, navigating conflict if it arises—even making and recovering from rookie mistakes—all prepare young people for the challenges ahead.
We want to hear: What valuable lessons did you learn from a summer job? To join the conversation, click "comments" on our Community of Practice Forum.