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Is it a good idea to get a job as a freshman in college?

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5 answers

Mark’s Answer

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I think it is a very good idea to get a job as a freshman in college as it will help you to build work ethic and will keep you productive during some of your free time. It is very important though to make certain that you keep your education as your top priority at all times, and make sure that your grades or learning do not suffer as a result of the job. This is critical.

Once you know that you can balance both, having a job will provide you confidence and a stronger sense of accomplishment for sure. It will also allow you to increase your skill set, and will give you actual real life work experience for your resume when you graduate college and seek full time employment thereafter. I have seen many people go through college without working or without completing any internships and then struggle to land a job based on that lack of experience. You do not want to put yourself in that position.

A job at that age will also help you to understand the importance of working in an organization (regardless of size) and in an organizational hierarchy or chain of command. These interactions are priceless and can only be gained in real life work. I can remember things that I learned in every job that I held growing up in my high school and college years that are still relevant today. If you can find a job in the field that you are majoring in, then even better.

Last but not least, having extra money of your own never hurts!

Mark recommends the following next steps:

  • Work with your school to locate jobs in the area
  • Speak to your friends and family about opportunities for part time or summer work
  • Take the leap and get started
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Ken’s Answer

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It could be a good idea, especially if you can get one which is related to your career area of interest. Working also would allow you to balance your life and allow you to experience the inside of your career area.


It all starts with getting to know yourself better.

Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .



Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
  • Here are some tips on creating a good life balance, which is an important lesson to learn as it will be helpful all through your education/career journey: ## https://www.unigo.com/in-college/college-experience/creating-a-workschool-balance-a-college-student-perspective ## ## http://www.mycollegesuccessstory.com/academic-success-tools/college-life-balance.html ## ## http://www.collegeconfidential.com/dean/000241/ ##
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Danielle’s Answer

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Hi Catherine,

If you need a job to make ends meet as a freshman in college, then there is no other choice and you'll have to learn how best to balance the demands of your coursework with that of employment. However, if you do not need a job and don't have finances to worry about, I would recommend focusing on academics and forging new networks and friendships. The transition from high school to college is different and, sometimes, very difficult for some. It was important for me to get familiar with my course load and time management to complete homework, ace tests, and get involved in groups and organizations that would add value not only to my college career, but beyond.


I hope this helps! Good luck.

Danielle

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Celeste’s Answer

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Hello Catherine, having a job while in college can be rewarding but it can also have its challenges. During my time in college I had a full-time job starting as a freshmen and it was extremely difficult to find a balance. Often times I found myself having to choose between one or the other. However due to the work experience I had gained while in college, I was ahead of the curve in achieving my career goals once I had graduated. Therefore I would recommend getting a part-time job, in the field your interested in, if possible but do not overwhelm yourself. Always make school the priority and don’t forget to enjoy your college experience.

Best of Luck!
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Blake’s Answer

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Hey Catherine,

I think it's a great idea! IF you can do so without compromising your GPA. If you are unable to balance your grades and a job, then I would not recommend trying to do so, or at least your Freshman year.

Thanks,
Blake
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