College has started back up and all you can think about is friends, football, parties and hopefully finding time to study. Your parents have financially cut you off leaving you no option other than getting a job. But, it seems that you waited a little late to jump on the back-to-school-job bandwagon and all the jobs seem to be taken. Soon, you realize that the only openings are those working the graveyard shifts and this worries you. I mean, seriously, how can you be expected to work at 3 a.m. on a Sunday when all your roommates are still out enjoying the night?
I went to a big university in a small town and jobs seemed to be few and far between. I quickly found myself needing a job but not seeing any openings, until all the returning students picked the shifts they wanted, leaving the unwanted shifts to the newbies.
The only job I could find was to work as a lifeguard. And the only shift available started at 5 a.m. on Friday mornings. Now, when I was in school, Thursday nights were probably the biggest nights of the weekend. I’ll be honest, the thought of giving up my precious Thursday evenings was pretty annoying, especially when I lived with three other girls who loved to take advantage of everything the night had to offer. But I was in a bind and it was really my only option.
So, I took the 5 a.m. shift and accepted that I would just have to suck it up and be an adult. My roommates promised they would be extra quiet and let me get some sleep and I was up before the sun was to start each and every shift (you can’t really go in to a lifeguarding job being tired and grumpy).
This story does have an awesome ending so stick with me!
After taking on this shift for just about two months (if you are curious, a lot of people actually were swimming that early), one of the other guards quit and because his schedule worked with my class schedule, I was the first choice to take over his awesome hours. By proving that I could handle the challenge of the early shift without complaint and always showing up on time and ready to work, I was able to show the employer that I was worth giving a good shift to and ended up keeping that job until I graduated. As a bonus, it turned out the night shifts were much less crowded and allowed for me to get a lot of studying in.
The good thing about working in a college town is that there are a lot of shift changes and people moving/graduating. Use this to your advantage and take whatever shift is offered to you, even if it means putting a dent in your social calendar. If you can show that you are worth keeping, you will soon be able to work your way to the shifts you want and know that you have a great position waiting for you when come back from breaks!