Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Having trouble finding summer job and getting pretty desperate

  1. Apr 26, 2009 #1
    I've been looking for a part-time job when I get home for weeks and still haven't found a single thing. I've applied to a library, which never called back (they never call back anyone, from what I've heard) and a receptionist position that called me back and told me I was far too young, despite two great letters of recommendation and plenty of work experience.

    I'm getting to the end of my rope here. I can't work in retail. I did it for three years during high school and it was so draining and unpleasant that even after a two hour shift I'd come back incredibly tired and depressed from stupid managers and entitled bastard customers. I know I should take what I can get but after an entire year of a demanding schoolwork, sleepless nights, and worrying about everything under the sun, I had actually hoped to have an enjoyable summer, maybe take tennis lessons and do a little leisure studying in physics but most of these things require some amount of money and so it looks like I'll need to work since my family is on shaky ground financially (they're doing okay but certainly not well enough to pay for extras).

    What can I do? Not working means that I'll have very little money for next year, until I start my on-campus job (I make decent money but I'd live to save some for expenses I forsee next semester) but working at a crap job like telemarketing or retail means that I'll be miserable and tired all summer long and I won't even get to use the money for what I wanted in the first place. Sorry for the long-winded post!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Sorry to hear you're having trouble :frown:.

    What kind of job are you hoping for? Have you considered signing up with a temp agency?
  4. Apr 26, 2009 #3
    Tennis might cost not if you don't take lessons but physics? I don't see any costs involved in it. I guess everything looks good if you have enough for next yr/semester.

    Volunteering might be a good idea if not able to find a work.
  5. Apr 26, 2009 #4
    Our school has an engineering co-op dedicated solely to finding jobs and internships for students. They work with every major company and send out emails about job opportunities at various companies. Does one not exist at your school?

  6. Apr 26, 2009 #5
    How's the employment rate?

    My school had 85-99.9% range for Engineering students but this term it fell down to 70%.
  7. Apr 26, 2009 #6
    I was hoping for basically anything that's not retail or food-related. I'm best at libraries, since that's where I work during the school year but I'm honestly not all that picky. Thanks for the sympathy, I'm sure I'll find something in time :)

    I need to purchase text books for next year in order to actually study them so unfortunately physics does cost. I know there are free online this-and-thats but I'd still prefer to have an actual book in my hands. And I've never actually played tennis before, so it's rather doubtful how far I'd get without lessons. I don't mean to shoot down every idea you kindly provided, but I've done much more than my fair share of volunteering. I worked 10+ hours a week at the humane society in my college town and now I need to look for actual, paid work unfortunately.

    Thank you Cyrus, we do in face have an Engineering Career Services center but they generally prefer students who are at least sophomores or (ideally) juniors or seniors, which I am not. The best advice they could give me about this summer is "Hang tight and wait for next year." :) Good idea though, thank you.
  8. Apr 26, 2009 #7


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I worked as a temp during breaks from school and I highly recommend it. It pays very well for someone who is still in school.
  9. Apr 26, 2009 #8


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    That's an excellent suggestion. My older got several great jobs that way.

    My younger daughter has also just been hired by her school as an English tutor.. she gets to make her own hours.
  10. Apr 26, 2009 #9
    Baby sitting. They are always needed and you can make a lot for a little amount of work.
  11. Apr 27, 2009 #10
    Its still retail but what about a book store?

    Also I would reiterate the idea of looking into temp agencies. If you have good computer and typing skills it should not be hard to find a job through one. They will also be much more amenable to hiring short term (being a temp agency and all).
  12. Apr 27, 2009 #11
  13. Apr 27, 2009 #12

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    At the risk of sounding unsympathetic, "there's a reason they call it work".

    It sounds like you want a summer job - but not some place in a hot kitchen, somewhere cooler and more comfortable. But not a store - they have air conditioning, but they also have annoying customers. I assume manual labor like landscaping is right out?

    Your employability is directly proportional to what you can do that someone is willing to pay for. If the only thing you're willing to do is limited to customer-free work indoors somewhere that doesn't involve food, you're painting a pretty small target.
  14. Apr 28, 2009 #13


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You don't really have to wait for lessons. I would start by reading a book on tennis. Then buy a racket, a can of balls and make a friend who is also a novice. This is how I learned in high school. I taught myself the game from a library book. A friend of mine also wanted to play, so we practiced for free at the local courts in the park. Initially you will find it challenging just keeping the ball on the court but with a little practice you not only gain control but precision (where you want to place the ball). I never took lessons but did learn a lot by playing people who were better than me, by watching what they did.
  15. Apr 28, 2009 #14
    I've been looking for a summer job for three years now. I've managed 3 interviews in 3 years.

    The joys of living in Michigan.
  16. Apr 28, 2009 #15
    Perhaps your just not very good at marketing yourself? I live in SE Michigan (the worst part) and have had a job since I was 14. I had internships all through my undergrad since the start of my sophomore year. I was also getting job offers 6 months before I graduated (but some were out of state) and certainly had plenty to choose from.

    Silvy, your best bet it to hit seasonal places with high turnover rates and where low-lifes usually work. For example, fast food joints, car washes, moving companies, golf courses, etc. If you want a job where you don't have to deal with stupid people or have a douche bag of a manager your setting your standards to high.
  17. Apr 28, 2009 #16


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Exactly, I worked at a grocery store for 7 years and I'd be willing to work at it again if that's all I had.

    I try not to be picky when I need a job.

    I'll be picky when I have a decent job, don't need another job, but looking for something better. Then I'll be picky since I'm looking to get better.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook