I’ve worked a ton of hours every summer since 2012. Frankly, some of the jobs I worked absolutely SUCKED. I’ve worked the tedious, the physically demanding, the outdoors-in-the-sun-all-day; I’ve even worked jobs that left me bleeding and physically scarred at the end of the day. Summers haven’t always been pleasant.
Yet, I’m absolutely grateful for the terrible summer jobs I’ve worked, and I advocate for every student to work at least one summer job they hate.
Here are five reasons why:
1. TEACHES YOU THE VALUE OF MONEY
When you work a job you hate solely for the paycheck, you start to appreciate the money you make a little bit more. You truly come to realize what you’re being paid, and the value of that sum. It makes pulling out your wallet for an impulse buy a little more painful, and could help you save more money.
2. BUILDS DISCIPLINE
If you can get through eight hours, five days a week at a job you hate AND do the job well, you’re building discipline. In our flesh, we truly hate doing anything we don’t view as pleasurable or fun. By ignoring your instinct that deters you from doing work you don’t want to do, you’re taking control of your life and pushing yourself.
3. MAKES YOU APPRECIATE JOBS YOU LOVE
Along with jobs I’ve hated, I’ve had the blessing to work jobs I’ve loved. I would never have appreciated great jobs like they deserved if I had not worked jobs that were terrible. Being paid to do something you enjoy is one of the most wonderful things, and you learn to appreciate it by being paid to do something you can’t stand.
4. SWEETENS THE FREE TIME YOU HAVE
If the time you spend at work isn’t enjoyable, the time you have to spend on your own terms will be so much sweeter. We tend to take free time for granted and waste it, but if you’re spending a lot of time working, you’ll think twice about how you spend your summer free time.
5. HELPS HONE YOUR PASSIONS
Even at the worst of jobs, there will be something that stands out as better or more enjoyable than the rest. Lean into those things. Maybe they seem so much better just because they’re less tedious or demanding, but maybe, just maybe, those things can point to something you’re passionate about. If we learn to lean into the enjoyable, we’ll start to hone in on what we love to do, what makes us happy.
Of course, congrats if you’re working a summer job you love. However, realize that not only can good be found in a terrible summer job, but it can actually be beneficial in the long run.