The Most Valuable Transferrable Skills You’ll Gain From Common Summer Jobs


Students often dread their summer job.

While it’s their dream to land a job in their future field of work, or in an office environment, most people don’t realize that the skills one develops from these typical student jobs, can be the ones that are the most valuable to land a career down the road.

Here are just some of the transferable skills that some typical student jobs can give you to add to your resume.


Customer Service

This is arguably one of the of the most valuable things you’ll gain from working in retail. Every job you will have in your life will involve customer service in some way, and even if you’re not working with customers directly, customer service skills can also be valuable when dealing with situations within the workplace with your colleagues.

Problem Solving

Working in retail you’ll quickly learn to think on your feet, and problem solve. You never know what will get thrown your way in terms of customers, or other employees.

Money Sense

If you’re working in retail, you’ll more than likely be working at the cash register at some point or another. This isn’t the type of math they teach you in math class – it’s practical math that can really be useful moving forward in any career.

Food & Beverage Industry

Results Oriented

Everyone knows that a huge part of working in the food and beverage industry is earning tips. And in order to be successful in that, you’ll need to be results oriented. The food and beverage industry teaches you to optimize and adapt to make every customer’s experience the best it can be. After all, great customer service equals great tips.

Communication Skills

Working in this industry, you quickly realize that not all customers are the same. This ability to adapt to different customers will help you develop excellent communication skills. Communication skills are key because every job will require you to talk to at least a few, if not a wide number of people.

Time Management

Working in the service industry are not always set – you definitely won’t be working the typical 9-5 gig. Therefore, you’ll quickly learn to adapt your lifestyle and manage your time to make it work. Learning these time management skills will help you become more organized, and eventually give you the ability to balance multiple projects at once.

Babysitter or Nanny


Patience is a virtue when working with children of any age. Having the ability to look at a chaotic situation and be patient, even when it’s easy to get upset, or panic, is a critical skill. Patience is something that can come in handy when working in any environment, whether it involves working with difficult customers/colleagues or problem solving when things aren’t going your way.


Thinking on your feet is crucial to keeping kids entertained. Creativity is something that is useful in any career sector, and having that ability to think of creative solutions is a skill that many people lack, and one that is critical in the working world.


When working as a babysitter or nanny, you are automatically given way more responsibility than many other people in regular part-time jobs. These jobs can teach you how to take charge and make executive decisions on behalf of other people. Plus, every single career requires the individual to take on some form of responsibility.



As with any job that requires the supervision of kids, being a lifeguard requires a higher level of responsibility than normal. It requires you to not only be on the ball the entire time you’re on your shift, but also be responsible for the safety of other people. This is an invaluable skill that will help you in any job going forward.

Problem Solving

There is a high possibility that as a lifeguard, you will experience an emergency situation. This will require you to think on your feet. When dealing with high stress situations, you quickly learn how to problem solve.


People count on you for the safety of themselves and children, so having strong leadership skills and confidence is key to lifeguarding, and any other career you’ll have down the line. Whether you end up in a management position or not, every position requires you to possess leadership skills to some extent, so building these skills before you enter the full-time career force is very valuable.

Camp Counselor


Parents put their kids in camp for them to experience something different and fun. This will require you as the counselor to demonstrate exceptional creativity – coming up with different way to entertain kids, planning activities for the day, etc.


As a camp counselor, you will work with a variety of our counselors and camp directors, and often lean on them to help do your job successfully. One person can’t do everything, so learning early on how to work with a team and utilize other peoples skillset with your own, is one of the most critical skills for any workplace.


Think about it: as a camp counselor, your main job is to lead children of all ages. Although you may be leading kids that are significantly younger than you, these leadership skills are easily transferable to any future managerial opportunities you may have.