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To those of you who have landed your dream position for the summer – congratulations! Kindly navigate yourself to another article on CampusRiot. This post is for those of you who are still job hunting. It’s for those of you who are struggling to find a summer job, or for those of you who are unhappy with the offers you currently have.

I know that job hunting is frustrating, but please don’t give up. You might not have landed your dream job yet, but that’s certainly not a reason to give up. After all, you can’t get a job that you don’t apply for. Whether you have a job that you’re unhappy with, or you’re still looking, don’t throw in the towel just yet. Send out those resumes and do those interviews. I had a friend who didn’t find a job until June, but you can bet she was happier (and richer) than I was.

Listen, if you’re going to spend all day every day doing this job for four months, you better hope that it brings you some sort of happiness. Make a list of the must-haves for your summer job. Then stick to it. Your list can include things like getting paid a certain amount, specific types of experiences that you want to gain, and how much free time you want to have. (Hint: simply getting paid will not make you happy.) It’s much too easy to compromise when we hear about the high unemployment rates for college students, but you shouldn’t take a job that makes you miserable (because then, you know, you would be miserable).

Don’t forget about the people. Not all work environments are created equal. This is the time to have an honest talk with yourself to figure out which kinds of people you work best with. Do you need to be monitored at times by your manager, or do you just hate when people look over your shoulder? How important is it for you to become friends with your colleagues? Are you into this new open-concept work environment, or do you like to be closed off, do your thing, and then return with the results?

You have the power to make yourself really happy or make yourself miserable this summer (and everything in between). I always encourage people to see jobs as a two-way street. You need to provide things for the company (i.e. labour and results), but the company also needs to provide things for you (i.e. job satisfaction). That means that job interviews require you to sell yourself to the employer, but the employer also needs to sell the role and the company to you.

Wondering about that unpaid internship?

What’s on your list of job hunting must-haves?

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Image courtesy of electricnerve via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).