Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Top 5 Benefits of a Summer Job—Besides Pay

"Why do you want the job?" Anyone who's made it through an interview for an uneventful part-time job has squirmed through this infamous interview question. For most people, the first thing that springs to mind is "I need money," but many quickly learn that that answer will likely not land them the job.

No matter how boring or backbreaking your part-time job may be, the benefits go beyond your wallet. Don't believe it? Here we take a look at some of the perks you can enjoy. You may be surprised to learn that you will reap the rewards long after your paycheck is spent.

Key Takeaways

  • Getting a summer job can boost many skills and habits beneficial to a career.
  • Securing a summer job may boost a teen's confidence, as it can give them an opportunity to feel success through the application, training, and working process.
  • Skills that working a summer job may help build include time management skills and an ability to build a network.
  • For teens who already have an idea of the future career they may want to pursue, applying for summer jobs that relate to that field can help build familiarity with and contacts in that sector.
  • An expanded social and professional network can provide new learning experiences and open the door to new opportunities.

What Are the Top 5 Benefits of a Summer Job Besides Pay?


According to the author Jeylan T. Mortimer, high school students who work, even as much as part-time, are better off in many ways than students who sit out of the workforce longer, and one of the key areas where working students excel in is confidence.

After all, confidence, by definition, means an ability to rely on yourself. To build confidence, you must put yourself into unfamiliar territory and learn how to survive and thrive there. And no matter how simple your summer job may seem, rest assured there will be confidence-boosting challenges to overcome, whether it's learning a new skill, surviving a stressful work environment, or learning to deal with a hard-driving boss or a nasty coworker.

Time Management

Hanging around the house all summer may be a great way to relax, but it won't help your time-management skills. Working will, though, and this skill will help you both in college and as an adult. Just look at the self-help department of any bookstore; the number of books on time management is a sign that you don't want to enter adulthood without acquiring this skill.

Time management means deciding what should be accomplished in a day and learning how to juggle those things to make it happen. This means prioritizing, planning, and deciding how much you can realistically accomplish. The best way to develop this skill is through practice; if you have loads of free time, you'll likely not have to flex your time-management muscles.

A Leg Up

While a part-time job at a burger joint may not give you a ton of relevant experience for your resume, it will give you the experience to document. Historically, teenage unemployment rates increase in June and decline in August, which may be attributed to planned vacations. However, the summer months away from school provide an opportunity to secure employment and gain working experience.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for teens (ages 16-19) as of February 2023.

When it's time to apply for other jobs, you don't want to be the one with an empty resume. And if part-time jobs are scarce or if you can't land one, you can still work on padding your resume by volunteering.

Getting to Know You

Not sure about your future career? Don't worry; most change their minds many times before settling on their long-term career. Getting out into the workforce as a barista at your local coffee shop may not help you see what it will be like as a doctor, but you will find out whether you like to work with people and whether you can work quickly and efficiently under pressure. You also might discover new things about yourself. For instance, you may find that you like working with numbers.

Reading about the skills you will need to get a future job is not the same as testing your mettle in the real world. If you're wondering what skills you have, working a couple of part-time summer jobs should help you zero in on your likes and dislikes, evaluate your strengths, and resolve your weaknesses.

Broaden Your Circle

Chances are, your social circle is comprised of people in your age group. However, in a job, you are likely to work with a diverse group of people, from all backgrounds and of all ages. Not only can you learn from the varying perspectives and experiences of others, but you can also forge friendships, learn about new opportunities, acquire desirable skills, and increase your visibility.

It is estimated that approximately 80% of jobs are filled through networking.

In addition, you will need references throughout your career; so, it's a good idea to connect with the people you meet along the way as they will be able to convey your professional strengths to prospective employers.

Does a Summer Job Help With College?

Prior to entering college, students may work summer jobs to earn money to pay for college expenses or desirables. However, summer jobs offer more than income; they are also great for resumes as they showcase the student's maturity, work ethic, and ability to balance priorities.

Should I Put a Summer Job on My Resume?

Summer jobs, even low-skilled ones, can provide hard and soft skills valuable in professional and academic spaces. Therefore, it is helpful to list summer jobs under your resume's work experience category, highlighting desirable and transferable skills and accomplishments.

Is It Worth It to Work on Summer?

The benefits of having a summer job vary for each working person. Generally, summer jobs offer additional income, professional and social skills, knowledge, and more. For people applying to college, a summer job is an attractive addition to the application. For college students, it can provide an extra source of income to enjoy life outside of the dorm or pay for college expenses, such as books, tuition, and fees.

The Bottom Line

If you haven't started looking for a summer job, be mindful that your job search is about more than earning some extra cash. It could give you the competitive edge you need to get more and better jobs in the future. And once you've worked for minimum wage, you'll be ready to appreciate just how much a better job is worth.

Article Sources
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  1. Jeylan T. Mortimer. "Working and Growing up in America."

  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "The Employment Situation-February 2023," Page 5.

  3. Forbes. "Networking: It's Not What You Think."

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