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May 2024 Economic Development Update:

At last month’s Green Career Symposium, we welcomed 150 students from Ross L Gray and Shevchenko Schools. Visitors to our booth were asked if they had started thinking about a summer job. We directed them to WorkFinder on the Sunrise Corner website that lists paid work and volunteer opportunities. There are currently a dozen seasonal jobs listed in a wide variety of roles with more being added in the coming weeks as local organizations get notification of their Green Team and Canada Summer Jobs grants.

There are many considerations that should be factored into the decision on where to apply for a summer-job. Does one take a job for the money, the career prospects or the experience? Here are five elements to think about when contemplating the benefits and outcomes of a summer job.

Career exploration. Summer jobs can help high school students explore different career paths that might interest them. Working with a business, not-profit or government entity is invaluable in learning how different workplaces operate and how leadership is structured. The summer job experience can also help to narrow down interests to make a post-secondary education direction easier to choose.

Skill development. Employment helps develop critical skills like time management, communication, teamwork, and decision making that are transferable to future education and career pursuits. The experience demonstrates first-hand what skills are needed for future career path planning.

Resume building. Working in a field of interest adds relevant professional experience to a resume that will help land future jobs and internships. Past experience can help move a resume to the top of the pile for full-time career opportunities.

Connections. The summer job experience helps develop a network of connections who may serve in a mentorship role or help land a job after graduation. Learning from someone who has built a career in the field is invaluable.

Self-confidence. Working in real-world situations boosts self-esteem. Seeing results of the work develops accountability and pride in a job well done. Earning a paycheque gives youth a sense of achievement and helps develop valuable financial skills such as budgeting and money management.

Summer jobs can and should be an important first step towards a fulfilling career. Everyone is encouraged to visit WorkFinder for all kinds of job and volunteer opportunities. Listings can be filtered by seasonal, full-time or volunteer, depending on what kind of opportunity you are seeking.

Monique Chenier