Another solo episode where I talk about the benefits of a job, why you should get one this summer, and my own experience with the job application process for my retail job this summer.
Hey, college kids, welcome back to my podcast, who cares about college today is another solo episode, and I’m going to be talking about how to get a summer job. Because I recently applied to retail stores and I did find a job for the summer, so I want to share my experience so let’s start off with why you would get a job. And of course, you’re gonna tie it into college apps as well. So number one, and teaches your real life skills. You’re not protected by it’s not like you’re within your school environment, interacting with kids your age, like you would do at a club. No, you’re out. In the real world, there are people of any age, right you have, you can have young customers, you can have old customers as well, and everything in between. So you’re learning to interact with people, and you’re actually learning to communicate with people, which is a very important skill to have. In general, when you go to college, and you’re applying for jobs. So and each each job teaches different things, right. So the skills that you acquire will be will vary based on the job you have. Number two, I would say is money. Who doesn’t love money, you are finally earning something and at the age of I’m 16 right now, right? So at the age of 1516 1718, you obviously won’t be getting a large amount of money, but it is the first time that you probably will be earning money. And you’ll feel a sort of independence or sort of responsibility. Like when you get your driver’s license, you’re like, oh, wow, this is something I can do without having to have my parents do it for me, here you’re earning your own money. Like it’s that your parents are not giving you an allowance or anything, you’re actually doing work and you’re earning you’re getting a reward for it and are to it teaches you the value of money. Growing up, your parents are probably most likely your parents or guardians are paying for everything, your clothes, your food, just anything. If you want something, you go and ask your parents like, Oh, can you guys buy me this? Or can we go to the store and just check out these? You know, I want to go shopping this afternoon Mom, can we like go to the mall and look around for stuff or it’s the new school year, I want new clothes. But when you have your own money, at least, what happened to me when I got my first job was, oh, man, can we like go to the store? I want to just look at some jeans, for example. Sure, we can go to the store, but you know, you have your own money. So why don’t you just pay for it. So when that expectation is put on you like oh, now you have your own money, you don’t need to rely on us for these like small little things. Of course, like if I needed something, my parents would get it for me. But anything extra that was something I wanted rather than something I needed at that moment. It was like, Okay, you use your own money. And of course, I didn’t want to use that money I had and put on something so simple. So t really teaches you value of money, and not to throw it away. So with all my money that I earned from my first job, I put it into savings. And another thing is, I wouldn’t say a job makes you more hard working. But it does put some sort of accountability on you. For the first time you have these expectations that you do have to meet, you’re likely not your own boss, you have someone who’s above you, you have co workers who are probably above you as well, because I will say at the age of 1617 on getting a salary job, in most cases, you’re getting a minimum wage job. So it teaches you to, I guess obey orders you meet, you’re more hard working, you have to respond to the customer. So you can be a hard working person at first. But I think it really does teach you how to be more accountable and be more responsible. Because now you’re not just by yourself, right? You have customers who are depending on you, and how you interact with those customers determines your outcome. So you are more careful about that. And into college apps. extracurriculars are definitely concern jobs are definitely considered an extracurricular is something you do outside of school, it’s something you’re dedicating your time to where it could be just because you want to just try out a job or you may actually need a job to support yourself or your family. And I actually have an article that I will link it’s called is a job considered an extracurricular and in the article I go through, yeah, of course, a job is considered an extracurricular and I go through the benefits of having a job as well. So that’s why you should get a job and I would definitely recommend for those who are able to get a job I think it’s probably one of the most valuable extracurriculars you can have in the long term. And I don’t know why I find it enjoyable having a job maybe it’s the independence the freedom like I’m actually working for something rather than having it just give be given to me. So if you’re contemplating like Oh, should I get a job should I not get a job as extracurricular? It definitely do. So I think it’s very valuable. And it can be really fun if you get a job at the right place. Now as for my experience, I’ll go over my because I did have a job before this new summer job I have. So I was a karate instructor from starting at 14 Well actually at 13 or 13. I have been in At that karate studio for a long, long time at that point I had been, I’ve been training with them for years. And there, it was a little bit different. They asked me like, oh, you know, would you like to start at age 13, you’re not legally allowed to work, at least where I live, it’s at 14. But they’re like, Oh, you want to come in maybe like once a week, and just get a feel for what it’s like to be a karate instructor. So in that way, it wasn’t that traditional because I wasn’t applying anywhere I wasn’t being interviewed. But that was my first job. And once I did turn 14, I guess I was an official employee or something I was getting paid for my work. And I will say that being a karate instructor, it was, I’ve really loved that job. It was so fun. And I like interacting with people and I would interact with people of all different ages, you’d have little little kids who are just starting out at four or five years old, and you’d have adult, you have people my age, adult, and then seniors as well. So I learned a lot of patience there. Because as a cardio instructor, you just have to help the kids or the adults through the drill. And it taught me to be patient, it taught me how to communicate better with people, because how I communicated what I was trying to tell them determined, like the result, so I need to make sure I was good with that. And it was, it’s good. And it was just a fun job. I don’t know, I really enjoyed I like I like kids, so and it was mainly kids rice, like my age and younger. So constantly interacting with people was definitely beneficial. And I did get paid, unfortunately, my karate studio close down, so I’m not working there anymore. So that is why I just had to find a job in the summer, if my karate studio didn’t close, I would have definitely kept working there. And I would have worked there over the summer and all throughout high school. But now I was free for the summer love free, but I didn’t have a job over the summer. So I was like, okay, yeah, I want to work again. Now, how to find a job. As a teenager, you know, you’re 1617, you don’t have any college degree, you don’t have probably don’t have any like skill set that would get you a salary job, even if you did, you probably wouldn’t get hired at the age of 1617. So number one, you have to look at what you are interested in, you can’t be too picky. But if you can narrow down to at least like a few things, then they’ll they’ll make the search easier for you. And probably the interview will be easier for you as well. And what I’m talking about here is like look at an interest that you like, for example, I like clothes. So I have a retail job this summer, I like clothes, and this particular store that I applied to, I love their clothes in particular, I think the clothing is very beautiful. It’s definitely my style. And obviously, material that clothing is good. It’s it’s just a place that I would love to work at. And that probably made it so much easier. And I as I will get to later it just made my interview so much more meaningful, because I actually had a genuine interest in working there. I wasn’t just a Yeah, I would like the money that I would be earning from there. But it wasn’t just that I would genuinely have I genuinely liked the store. I genuinely like the clothes. And I had I’m not a fashion geek. But I do have a passion for and I love clothing. So you can’t be too picky. Because you do want to get a job somewhere. But if you can at least narrow it down, then your interview experience and perhaps your likelihood of getting hired will be so much more meaningful, because you have a genuine interest in it. Now, as I said, I played clothing. And that was I was like, Okay, I want to work at a clothing store. And that’s not too too specific. Because I like clothing in general. I do like the store that I ended up in but I like clothing in general. So in clothing is not to there. I mean, 1000s of clothing stores, right? So now how do you actually find a job? So I was actually shopping at the mall one day, and I love the mall. It’s my it’s my heaven. I love going there. And I love just browsing. So I was shopping at the mall with my mom. And she was going around he of course like the store, she goes to another stores that I like. So she was shopping around, I told her Okay, I’m going to go into these stores that I like. And I was going in going in and this was probably a month ago, I would say from now. Yeah, about a month ago. I was going in August in that clothing store that I love. And I was looking around. I was thinking about the summer. I’m like, I’m not entirely free the summer I do have plans. But you know what if I worked here, I would love to work here over the summer. And I went up to the lady who was working at the cash register at the store that I love. And I went to her and I said oh, are you guys hiring specifically here? And she said, Yes, we are. And she’s and I was like, Oh, that’s great. Where can I apply? How can I apply? And what she told me was you can go online, and if go to that, go to our brands website, scroll all the way to the bottom. And at the bottom. There’s this like, you know, nearly every website has its like a chunk and it has a bunch of information that it’s like about us, contact us They’re all that kind of information. And there, you’ll see a tab called careers, you need to click on careers, find your location, and see which jobs are available and you apply through there. So what I that’s exactly what I did. And that’s what I would recommend to people, if you find a store that you like, I don’t know how it would be for restaurants and such. But for clothing stores, for example, the stores that do have a website, go and like scroll to the bottom to careers and see if they’re hiring in the location you want to work at, or a location that’s near you, and apply through there. So that’s what I did. Now, another way, I don’t know how effective this is. But I did interview a college student from University of Virginia, you can check that podcast out. It was with Vivian Garcia. And she was telling me about how she applied for a job when she was in high school as well. And she was in a similar position as I was, she was looking for a summer job looking, she was not looking her parents wanted her to get a summer job. But basically what they did was they said her dad said, Okay, go create a resume for yourself, print out 20 copies of those. And so that’s what she did. And then her dad drove her to their local mall. And he made her go into the store and ask the employers, their the cat, the manager, whoever there and ask them if they were hiring. And she would give her resume to them and say, Please call me back if you are interested in hiring me. So that’s totally out of the ordinary. I don’t think a lot of people do that. But that is one way. She didn’t check out the podcast if you want to hear more about how happened. But she was successful. She did get multiple offers. And I think she got a couple offers on the on the spot, right? So she just gave them they’re like, oh, yeah, sure, we’d love to have you here. So that’s how she ended up working. And she ended up working at Converse. So another clothing shoe store. And what happened was I applied. And during the application, it’s pretty standard stuff. I submitted a resume, I put my contact information I filled in the hours that I would be available to work. I honestly don’t even remember what I put, but it’s just like basic stuff like that. Do you agree to our terms and conditions that are that are the end and I got an email from them saying like, Oh, yeah, we’ll review your application, we’ll call you back if you think if we think you’re a good fit. And I didn’t get a call for weeks, so I thought I was not hired. And at that point, I was like, oh, because I only applied there. And at that, I thought, okay, they’re not gonna hire me. It’s been a week so far. So I applied to another store that was very similar to them that I also love. But then maybe like a week after I applied to that second store, I got a call from the first like, out of the blue, I was not expecting at all saying, Oh, hi, this is that. I’m the manager at this retail store that you apply to, would you like to, if you’re still interested come in, and we’ll do an interview? And I was like, Oh, my God. Yes, absolutely. So I was so excited. And I went to we scheduled like an interview time. And I went to the store and I did my interview there. Now one thing before we go towards the interview, I’m gonna talk about something really quickly, which is what to put on a resume cuz I don’t know, all employers, employers will require this, like, at minimum, like minimum wage workers. But I was asked for resume, I was asked to attach a resume on to my application when I was applying online. And a question is like what to put on your resume. Now, to be honest, I guess I did have more than maybe another person would have because I didn’t have a job before. But I’ll say what I did put on my resume, I put, I put where I go to school, I put my age, I’ll put I put my contact information, I put, I put my grades on there, my GPA and such, I put definitely that I worked as a karate instructor how long I’d been working there. And I also put that I have this podcast, his blog, just literally anything I could think of I put on there. And I also put on a skill section. So I put communication skills, you know, face to face communication skills, organizational skills, leadership skills, stuff like that, right? It’s pretty standard stuff. And it was all on one page. So that’s what I put on my resume, just for anybody who’s curious. Now let’s go into what to expect for your interview. Now for the interview, what happened was I came into a store at the time that she asked me to come in. And she took me to her back office met the manager of the store, she took me to her back office. And she asked me what I think are quite standard questions for you know, retail jobs and such. She asked me number one, why do you want to work here and this is why I say it’s kind of important to maybe narrow down your interest to somebody that you will genuinely like. So why do you want to work here was very easy for me to answer because I and I answered exactly what I’ve mentioned earlier, I love the clothes here. I think there are so many different styles. You have more modern styles or yeah like more modern styles with the ripped jeans and the graphic tees. T shirts. But then you also have more. Like, for example, for the ladies, you have more feminine styles, the very beautiful blouses with the floral prints and the embroidery. And I said I love the wide range of clothes here. I think anybody could shop at the store. And they would be, they would find something that they would like. And I mentioned how I like the quality of the clothes. And I think that all the clothes are like made with care. They’re very beautiful. Everything to the last detail. So I think she was quite satisfied with the answer. It was very easy for me because I really love the brand. Now another question she asked was this question, it kind of stumped me. But what kind of a person are you didn’t know what to answer. At first, I was like, oh, no, I don’t know, what do you expect me to say? And I thought to myself, I was like, Okay, so I’m a person who likes to you know, help people and talk with people, and I like to be around people is what I said. And I learned that at my previous job as a karate instructor, I really liked working with people. And I like teaching people and I like seeing them. Finally, like get it and understand as a karate instructor, you’re helping through some helping us student through something. And they finally get the they finally do the punch correctly early, do the grab correctly, and you feel so much pride. You’re like, Oh, good job. Yeah, you did it. That’s perfect. So I said something to that effect. I don’t remember exactly what I said. But it was something like that. Another question I got was what inspires you? I can I did not expect this question at all. But what I answered was, okay, what inspires me is seeing other people I guess, succeed, which is kind of what I expected, I think would be a good answer, like what she would want to hear from me. So I said, I like you, when I see other people succeed, or other people strive towards their dreams, because that inspires me to also work towards my goals. And I mentioned how my dad is an immigrant, right? He came here with close to nothing. And yet he built himself up, and help build us up to the life that we have now a very comfortable life. So that I said that inspires me, because he went from rock bottom to the life we have now the lifestyle we have now, you know, very comfortable living in a good area. And so I said that inspires me. Because when I see that when I see other people striving towards their dreams that makes me believe that I can strive towards my dreams as well. Another question was, how would you deal with a difficult customer? Now I had this answer this question prepared, because I was like, I’m pretty sure every single employer asked this. I said that, if in she the example she uses if someone came in and they wanted to return an item, but they didn’t have the receipt, she said, What would you do if they were being difficult? I said, number one, I would be trying to be patient with them, because they could be having a bad day, you never know. They’re not. Sometimes they are maybe, but they’re not trying to make your life miserable. They’re not trying to pick a fight, they just could have had a bad day. So I said I would be patient with them, and try to find some sort of loophole to to help them as best I could to make it more convenient for them. And I said, if I exhausted everything that I’ve known that I would call another employee who has been working here longer, because I’m pretty sure I’m like the I’ll be the youngest employee when I start working there. And, or the her talk, I directly told her, I would come to you the manager, if I didn’t know what to do if I couldn’t help the customer any further. So that’s how I said I would deal with a difficult customer. And she seemed satisfied with that answer. And then another thing she asked was, What hours would you be willing to work? Now I do, as I said, I do have plans in summer, I’m not completely free. If I was completely free, I would be up to working seven days a week in the summertime. But I did tell her like oh, I would be open to working. Because I still am in school, when summer starts, I’ll definitely be able to work any of the hours you say. But I don’t want to work any more than like four days a week, four days a week is the amount that I want to work. And in those four days, I can definitely work the entire time. So I think the store opens up like I do with COVID. It opens at 11am. And it closes at seven but you know you stay a little behind for cleaning. So it’s 730 11am to 730. I said any other day, I’m totally fine with working all those hours. And I would say for the hours don’t like say that you won’t you only be able to work like twice a week for maybe three hours at a time. That doesn’t work. They’re gonna definitely pick another person over you. Because one thing that these employers look for his reliability and I knew this with my karate instructor job. They want someone that they can call and of course if you’re busy, you won’t be able to come but they want someone who’s flexible, who they can rely on like call on last minute and say, oh you know, where suddenly this person was sick and they cannot come in for their shift can you come in? So they want someone that they can rely on someone that’s consistent and flexible and can meet the store’s needs. Because you are trying to get the job for them from them. So don’t make it difficult and say I’m and don’t be too Pacific NPK. Okay, take what you can get at this is just trying to get a job. And then those are mainly the questions, I think, yeah, I think those are all the questions. There may be one or two minor ones, but these are all the major ones. And the other part of my interview, and this is more specific to retail is picking out an outfit. I was prepared for this. Because remember I said earlier, I went up like a month before this, I went up to the lady who was working on the cash register, and I said, Where can I apply? And I also asked her, What is the interview like here? Like, how do they interview you what to expect. And she said, when she was applying here to the retail store, she was asked to pick out an outfit for a random scenario. So I was prepared for that. And I came into my interview actually 20 minutes early to browse the store and make sure I had a relative idea of where everything was the different types of clothing that they had. So what she asked me specifically was, I want you to pick out an outfit that couple so one for a man one for a woman like an outfit. So I would be picking out two outfits. One for men, one for a woman they can wear to work like it’s casual Friday, but after that they want to go hang out with their friends go to the bar. Yeah, bar, go to a party, something like that. So something they can transition from casual Friday at work to night out with their friends. So and she wasn’t like sitting on my back and watching me. No, she gave me the time. She said take your time, please pick out an outfit. And she said she wanted from like head to toe. So not just a shirt in a pair of shorts and jewelry, bags, all that kind of stuff. So that’s what I did I and luckily, I had browse the store so I knew what I was looking for. And as soon as she told me, I did have a relative idea of what I wanted to do. So I picked out this jump suit. I guess you could say it was this all of green. Yeah, it was like all of green jumpsuit. And it wasn’t too fancy. But at least it wasn’t too casual. Because it is your workplace. Right? You can you can’t be too too casual. So I picked that out and I picked out a nice bag which I said really good. You know, if you go out with your friends, you can put this basic things like your phone, your wallet and such. And I also picked out some jewelry as well. I didn’t pick out too much jewelry because if you’re out with your friends, you don’t want to be wearing too much stuff. And you’re constantly worried like oh is my ring still here are both my earrings here, my necklace and such. So I picked that out and I made sure everything matched. So I had a reason for picking everything out. I picked out an all of green jumpsuit, because I thought that’d be nice at the workplace. But I said pants are much more comfortable than skirts. So if you were to go party out with your friends do something a little bit more active, you wouldn’t be too uncomfortable. And I picked out jewelry and send all of greens like I saw it as like a warm tone, it was a very warm green all of green color. So I said I picked up gold jewelry jewelry, which is also warm, because I think it would complement the entire look. And I actually picked out a second outfit for the lady. I don’t know if you’re supposed to do that. But I just thought it would be best to give options. So I picked out a very beautiful pink, sort of like silk blouse and a pair of black jeans. And I said this would be better if the workplace is a bit more casual if they allow jeans. And with that it was in the pink was like a cooler colors. So I picked out jewelry that was silver, that would complement it. And again, not too much jewelry. So I picked those out for the lady now for the man, I picked out this white short sleeve t shirt that was also collared. So that would be a bit more formal with this beautiful sort of floral print. And I picked out some jeans for him as well. And I said if his workplace is really, really casual, I have these two pairs of shorts that you know when you know when they tell you like if you have a shirt that has patterned on it, pick a color in that shirt and get bottoms that are the same color. So they complement each other. That’s what I did. And his shirt was his shirt. But the the shirt that I picked out for the man had a little bit of green. So I kind of match the lady and the man together. But add a little bit of like green that olive green had a bit of regular, I guess green as well. So I picked out shorts that would complement that very well. And she was very satisfied. I think she was very satisfied with my outfit choices. And another thing I’m just gonna share the whole thing because I don’t know what was good or what wasn’t good. But I mean, I did get the job. So I think I did quite a few things. Right. Another thing that I did was she said, I had I laid them out on like this counter, like my outfits. She told me to lay them out there. And she was like, Okay, you can leave it there. I’ll come back and get it later. And I was like no, no, it’s fine. I can do. I can put it back and such. And she was like, oh really you remember where everything goes? I was like yeah, and I have no idea if that had any effect on her opinion whatsoever. But I guess showing that I was familiar with the store already and that I was like an organized person that I trusted myself to put everything back where it belonged and in a neat manner. style was worth anything Maybe, maybe, obviously worked towards my benefit, but that’s what happened, I went to the back of the store. And after that she just hired me. I was hired, I think it’s called being hired on the spot. I don’t know if that’s a common thing with retail jobs or not are we being a waitress or something is not something you need to have an amazing skill set for, it’s quite a basic job that doesn’t require much training much learning from so I was hired on the spot. If you don’t get hired on the spot, I think that’s fine. Because if you’re not the only application they have there, and in fact, there was another girl in there for an interview as well. And she was she came in a little bit later than I did. And while I finished picking out my outfit, she was picking out hers. But I was hired on the spot. And I think if you’re not hired ons, but that doesn’t mean anything. You they could just call you back in a few days after they’ve interviewed a couple more candidates. So that’s what happened, I was hired super happy. And now what we had to do was we had to plan a date to fill out all the paperwork and such that I would need because I was working there. So I came back a couple days later, which is actually today. Today, I went the afternoon I’m filming this, and I’m recording this in the evening. And we’re in this afternoon, I came in and it was just a bunch of paperwork, I didn’t do anything. All I brought was identification. And she went out online and she filled out the form and such on the official site. There was some paperwork, I had to sign something as well. So that’s what I would expect, like after you’ve been hired, just bring like, whatever your employer tells you, whether it’s identification, Social Security and such. So that was a was not that thrilling, I just went in, I sat there, she filled out paperwork. But after this, now I’m gonna start training and sends it as a retail job. And they do sell jeans, like that’s their main thing. They have other other beautiful stuff as well, but they mainly sell jeans, I’m going to do a denim fit. And the point of this is to you know, try on different jeans myself, see what fits me so that when customers come up to me not knowing what fits them what looks good on them, I’ll have some experience. So it will be something relatable, so the customer will have a better experience, I’ll be able to better help the customer if I’ve been through the experience myself. So I’m going to come in in today’s Sunday, I’m coming in on Friday to do denim fit. And she said some on the floor training. So I’ll be there for four hours doing the denim fit and doing some on the floor training. So yeah, that would be my entire experience after I when I you know, worked there for a couple months, I can make another episode on what I actually did as a retail employee tips I would give what to expect and such. But as for now I think that’s pretty much it. Again, don’t be too specific. Like I want to work exactly at this place. No, don’t do that. Okay, because you need to just take any job that you can. And it helps to do something in the field that you like, as I said, I like clothing. And I specifically like the brand that I was working that I’m working at now, which made it just much more easier in the interview much more meaningful because I wasn’t giving generic answers. I was pointing out specific things I liked about their brand that was specific to their brand. So that’s my main tip I would give if you are trying to find a summer job. And anything, anything is going to teach you some sort of skill anything is going to look good. So I would say that again. Don’t be too specific. So I think that’s pretty much it for now. Again in a few months once I’ve had some months of working there I can say what to expect as a retail employee. Some tips I would give as well. But other than that, I think that’s pretty much it and I hope to see you guys next week for the next episode.