Getting A Summer Job

Dear Jeff,

I’m a grade 11 student in Winnipeg. Summer is coming (which is great!) but I’m worried about getting a job. A lot of my friends work at fast food restaurants or in the food court at the mall but I really don’t want to do that. I want to get a job that will be useful for my future, and which will help me pay for my education. I’m planning to study something health related in university and I’m going to have to start applying next year. What kind of advice would you give someone like me who is looking for a job?

Eve R.
Winnipeg, Manitoba


“No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks!”

I remember the last day of the school year like it was yesterday! The whole summer was ahead of you. The weather was nice, cottage trips were planned, and the fall seemed so far away. But, in my last few years of high school, getting a job was my main focus. I needed a way to save money. And just like you, I didn’t want to flip burgers all summer long.

So, what should you consider when looking for a summer job? And how can you find one? Just follow my advice and your friends will soon be jealous!

  • Make your summer job a building block for future employment: I think you are on the right track with this point, Eve. Dishing out Chinese food at the mall is probably not going to help you as you pursue a career in a health field. Now, if your goal is to open a restaurant, that fast food job might be a good choice. But if you want to get into a career in health, start building your resume by working at a pharmacy, nursing home or daycare. Set your goals when you are young, and work toward them.
  • Think ahead: You know what the great thing about summer is? It happens every year, at the same time. That means that the same businesses hire summer students year after year. So, why would you wait and apply for a summer job right before summer starts just like all the other kids? Start thinking about the job you want now! If you apply early, they’ll remember you and you won’t get lost in the shuffle.
  • Work hard, save hard: It’s not just how much you make, it’s also about how much you save. Building up your savings before you go to university is a great way to take the sting out of those tuition payments. If you haven’t already, start educating yourself about savings and chequing accounts. Put at least 10% of your paycheque into your savings account as soon as you get it. This will reduce the amount of times you’ll have to beg your parents for money in the future.

Eve, you sound like you’ve got a good head on your shoulders. You are already looking into the future which is great to hear. Follow your goals and do the things that will help you reach them. I have no doubt you’ll be a success. Good luck!

Jeffrey Schwartz
Executive Director

Jeffrey Schwartz is the Executive Director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada and President of the Credit Association of Greater Toronto (CAGT).

If you have a question about your credit or just about finance in general, Jeff is here to help. Send us an email with your question to [email protected]. You’ll get the expert advice you need and your question may be featured here on our website.