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Why Work-Study Students Should Take Their College Job Seriously

A college job may seem like a simple means to an end, a way to cover your bills and school expenses while you make your way through school. However, if you're smart about it, a college job can do much more for you than just put some money in your pocket.

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Take Your College Job Seriously

You've got a lot on your plate as a college student. Chances are you're trying to do your best academically while balancing extracurricular interests and a social life. It's good to place school at the top of your priority list, while social events and some sort of non-school hobby are important for mental health and personal fulfillment. But that doesn't necessarily mean you should treat your job like it barely blips on your priority radar.

It may seem impossible, but even the most 'pointless' college job can have a serious impact down the line. You'll need references and a resume when you apply for jobs after graduation, and you won't want to contact a supervisor who thinks you're just OK for a professional reference. That's probably the most basic reason to take any job seriously. But why, specifically, should you care about your job in college?

Connections Are Important

Beyond a good recommendation, you'll want to make a positive impression on your boss - he or she may be able to provide useful professional connections. Even if your dream job has nothing to do with your current work, your employer might know someone in the industry you're looking to join. Plus, it's beneficial to remain on good terms with anyone who might someday be able to help you out in one way or another. You don't want to alienate your boss by being a bad employee.

Develop Good Work Patterns and Habits

It's easy to say you can skip work whenever you want because you don't have a job you actually care about. But that's a pretty big gamble to take. Even if you care about your job after college, there are still going to be days when you just want to stay home and do nothing. Probably, those days will come up more than once or twice a month. Getting in the habit of cutting corners at work is not a good idea.

Here's the unfortunate reality: You may have to take a job you don't exactly want after college just to pay the bills. Seeing all work as important, no matter how enthusiastic you are about it, is a good thing to learn in college.

Fodder for Interviews

Job interviews typically include questions about prior work experience. Prospective employers usually want specific examples of your ability to work with others, solve serious problems and deal with job-related pressure. If your answers to these questions boil down to 'well, I didn't really care about my job too much, so I can't say I've experienced that,' you're not likely to get that job.

Experience Is Essential

Just putting a job on your resume and talking yourself up in an interview doesn't mean you're a suitable potential employee. You'll need the confidence that comes with real job experience, from planning a budget to organizing an event or helping a customer. By gaining meaningful job experience, you'll also hone your communication, time management, and problem solving skills, all of which are essential tools for the real world.

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