How To Juggle Two Summer Jobs

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Last May, I was excited to spend a summer as a “working woman” by taking on the responsibility of balancing two part-time jobs.

My first job was an internship for academic credit for three days a week, and my second was as a server at a local restaurant.

As excited as I was, I knew I had the challenging task of treating them both with equal respect and dedication, and it wasn’t going to be easy. It was important that I gave both jobs everything I had: my determination, my best effort and, most importantly, my time.

My internship was part of an academic program at my university and my part-time job was to help fund my education as a whole, so it was tough to prioritize one over the other.

Many students face this same issue during the school year by trying to balance a part-time job with a demanding academic schedule. But I’ve survived the summer, and I guarantee it can be done!

You CAN stay social

There’s no need to kiss your social life goodbye as you head out to your first day. It’s important (and healthy) to maintain positive relationships, and that’s a big part of both the work and school experiences.

In the workplace, use your time to forge new friendships and build positive relationships with your colleagues. Not only did I leave both jobs this summer with incredible experiences, but I was also able to leave with new contacts in my industry of interest and new friends.

Hang out during breaks at work and after your shift is over. The people that you work with understand how important it is to be dedicated to your job, and that’s a great starting point of common ground for you to build a friendship on.

Be honest with your employer about your situation

Believe it or not, your manager is a person too. They get it! If you’re working two jobs, be sure to let your manager know that and they should try to accommodate you, particularly if you’re like me, and one of them is an internship. Even if you are doing an unpaid internship, many students still need to earn money to fund their education, and an understanding employer should help you out.

If you’re a student who is working while you’re in school, whether it’s over the summer or during the regular school year, your employer should understand that you need to go to class above all. Academics take priority, and that’s something you can discuss with them during the hiring process.

If you are a good student and they allow you to succeed academically, you shouldn’t have a problem handling working as well. Your professor won’t give you time off class to go to work, but your manager should give you the time you need to be a successful student.

I was lucky that both of my employers modified my schedule so that I would be able to do both jobs. By being open and honest with them, I maintained a manageable schedule that let me balance both opportunities.

Enjoy it

This is your chance to accomplish so many things at once. Constantly get feedback from your employers on your progress because that positive validation will keep you motivated to continue. Ask to take on projects that interest you or to be booked for more hours. Multitasking and juggling more than one job and responsibility at a time is a lifelong skill so make the most of this opportunity and have fun!

Photo credit: Juggling by Phillie Casablanca on Flickr
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About the author

Alanna Glass is a Media, Information and Technoculture (MIT) student at Western University who completed an internship at TalentEgg in Summer 2011. She is a Food Network junkie and a lover of all things media.