These days it is not easy to find summer employment because of the competition for jobs. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look. Use your networks, including friends, family friends, professors and former teachers to find out about job opportunities. This is a great time to not only make money but to explore a career. I was thinking about studying law but changed my mind after a summer job and an internship. The best way to find out if something is right for you is to try it, and if you can’t try it, talk to people.
If you cannot find a job, be productive. Ask people in the field you are interested in to talk to you informally; these are what many people refer to as informational interviews. It is more of a conversation than an interview and it can help you learn about a particular company or profession. People like talking about themselves so you’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to talk briefly with you over the phone or in person. This also helps develop contacts for later on: don’t lose touch, you’ll want to send a friendly note to check in every few months if it is somewhere or someone you would like to work with one day.
How have informal discussions helped you in your career or job search? Where have you found the most helpful contacts?