The Early Bird Gets the Gig

Spring may barely be upon us, but I’ve already got summer on my mind. Well, at least summer jobs.

Last year, it took me ages to find a job, and even then, it didn’t last long. After my gig as a barista ended in mid-July, looking for a job became my full-time job. Despite papering the town with my resumé, I remained unemployed for the rest of the summer.

For me, making money in the summer is key to financial stability during the school year. While a minimum wage job keeps things steady, it would be nice to have a little surplus account. So how do you find a job that pays more than $10.25 an hour? Start your search early.

Many of the best paying gigs are with the government. Be it federal, provincial or municipal, these offices have special programs for students. Besides a few extra dollars an hour, you get evenings and weekends off – a total bonus when the weather is nice.

Other lucrative gigs may be right under your nose. Most universities ramp up the number of campus tours during the summer months, requiring them to hire more guides. They also need staff to help plan and lead summer orientation programs. Campus job boards generally list these positions, as well as other private sector jobs.

A lot of these jobs hire early in the year (read: January and February). That doesn’t mean that there aren’t jobs to be found. Temp agencies can set you on the right path, as can scanning online classifieds or networking.

It’s a mix of timing, luck and diligence, but if you can snag a summer gig, it will set you on the right path for financial comfort later in the year.

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