On getting a summer job

In a post at the beginning of the year, I talked about things I’ve always subconciously/conciously dubbed as rites of passage for being a teenager. One of those things was having a summer job, and I did that this year! The “getting” part of job equation was a slightly long undertaking, but the actual working part was fun.

Sometime around spring of this year, I started job hunting. There were a few places that immediately came to mind: Barnes & Noble, Chick-fil-a, Whole Foods, and In-n-out. Barnes & Noble because books duh, and the other three because I wanted to know what it was like to be on the other side of the cash register, specifically in a food setting.

Online it said that Whole Foods hired sixteen and up, but when I went into the store, I found out that the location near me had a minimum age of eighteen. One gone, three more. I applied for the rest online, and during that whole process, I frequently felt weird and completely unqualified. I cobbled together a resume by using teen resume examples on Google as templates. For the work experience category, I had nothing to put, and the same went for the skills category too, maybe even less.

At the end, the applications went into the void. Now it was a waiting game. After about two weeks, the excitement started. I received two emails, one from In-n-out and one from Chick-fil-a. I was to meet up with both restaurants for an interview. Job interviews!

The Chick-fil-a interview was first. I was certainly nervous, but good nervous. The manager asked me what I did in school, what I did outside of school, what I did for fun, and why I chose to apply for Chick-fil-a. It was a pretty solid interview until the very end. When the conversation got to availability, I told him I wouldn’t be able to start until summer started and I could only work while it lasted. In other words, I was looking for a summer job.

He told me he was unable to hire employees for such a short period of time because it took so long to train workers that it didn’t make sense. If my schedule or my mind changed at any point, he told me to email him, but he couldn’t make me offer at the time. I left with the impression that if I was up for working fifteen hours a week during school, the job would be mine. But, that in my opinion is simply next level, and I am not at that level.

The In-n-out interview was a few days later. That one went less well. I’m usually okay at pulling words out of my mouth and talking my way into coherent answers, but that was not happening that afternoon. Along with asking about school activities, the manager asked about my strengths and weaknesses and how I dealt with stress. I gave her some half bogus answers because I couldn’t think fast enough.

Then it was again a waiting game. After another two weeks, I got emails from Barnes & Noble and In-n-out. Basically, they both very politely said, nope. My first four attempts had all failed, so back to the drawing board I went.

I started applying to different places online and also going to places to hand out resumes in person. I think I was doing some kind of job hunting at least every other week. The second strategy was a leaf I had taken out of my sister’s book.

Somewhere in there I got another interview. I went to the store at the appointed time, only for the person to cancel a few minutes after it was supposed to start. That also ended up a dead end.

Then, out of the blue, I got a phone call. It was Francesca’s. Did I want to set up an interview? I was very surprised. I had applied for Francesca’s online, but the website said they required at least a year of prior experience. Of course, I said. There was no way I was going to turn an opportunity down.

I was absolutely sure I was not going to get the job. I barely had any clothes from Francesca’s. Actually, I don’t think I had anything from there except some scrunchies I had gotten as a birthday present. Before and during the interview, I was internally astounded the whole time. Things went better than I could’ve ever expected in three different ways.

The first was that she was looking for a visual stylist, someone whose job it would be to organize the store, set up the feature tables, dress mannequins, etc. Also, it would be a job that only required a few days of work each month. The second was that when I told her volleyball season bulldozes everything else, she said that wasn’t a problem. I could take a break during volleyball season and then start back up afterwards. The third is that she offered me the position. She offered me the position!!! At that point I was internally dancing in a really loud way.

I accepted the offer, but I didn’t stop job hunting. Since the Francesca’s role didn’t require me to work very often, I still wanted to find a job that could give me more hours. After a few more weeks of giving out more resumes and then making phone calls to follow up on the resumes, I went in for two more job interviews: a donut shop and a Michael’s.

After the Michael’s interview I didn’t hear back from them, but for the donut shop, I was given an offer. The manager told me I would be decorating donuts! I was very pumped for the job. The one con was that the shift started at six in the morning, and my dad did not feel safe about that. He wanted me to work at Michael’s. I, on the other hand, strongly disagreed with him. I wanted to decorate donuts!

But his rules are his rules, so I called Michael’s to follow up (for maybe the third time?). There’s been a mix-up, they said. Did someone not tell you that you’ve already been given an offer? We actually have an orientation and training for all the new employees today in twenty minutes. Can you make it?

I called my dad back with the news. He was more pumped about it than I was about frosting donuts, and so I took the Michael’s job. I thought I would mostly be cashiering at Michael’s, but then they assigned me to do Michael’s kids camp. Basically, HQ or whatever sends in different crafts each week, and then kids can come for three dollars a session and make the crafts. I’ve made aliens and slime mixtures and dot paintings. It was so fun!

It really reminds me of this verse, Habakkuk 1:5. “For I am doing work in your days that you would never believe even if you were told.” If you had told me at the beginning of all of this that I would be putting together outfits and doing crafts with kids as work, I would’ve been like what???

Have you ever had a summer job or planning to?
Do you like doing crafts?
What are you reading right now?

19 thoughts on “On getting a summer job”

  1. That’s so cool! Both of your jobs sound like fun and it’s awesome how they kind of came out of nowhere. I have a job as a cashier which I don’t really like (because I’m more of an introvert and being friendly and talking to people for 4 or 5 hours straight is EXHAUSTING), but I’m hoping to get a more interesting job once I finish my degree.
    As far as books, I just read ‘House Arrest’ and ‘Knockout’ by K. A. Holt. They’re written in verse and they’re both quite good 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      Ohh, that makes sense. I did a little bit of cashiering at Michael’s, and I actually thought it was fun. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve become more of an extrovert, but I also feel like it was okay because it was very brief conversations? Yes, I hope you get a job that you love!!!
      Ohhhh, what were they about?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I feel like if cashiering is one of those things that some people enjoy, but even short conversations with people I don’t know can be exhausting for me 😛
        House Arrest is about a boy who steals a wallet in order to help pay for his baby brother’s medicine, gets caught, and has to be under house arrest for a year (hence the name). Knockout is about his baby brother when he’s 12. I didn’t even realize Knockout was a sequel when I put it on hold at the library- I just wanted to read another book by that author. But then it was a sequel! And it was amazing 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ohh dang, that sounds really good and interesting. I haven’t read that many books in verse, but I can think of two off the top of my head that I really liked. The first one is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. If the name or title sounds familiar, it’s because I just talked about it in my good books post. It’s really good. And then there’s Booked by Kwame Alexander, who I think writes in verse too. Booked is also written in second person, which is crazy!


  2. I’m so glad you ended up getting good jobs! The Francesca’s job is literally so cool. I never would have guessed that it actually existed, but it’s awesome that it does and that you get to do it!
    I feel like getting a summer job is harder than expected because 1) a lot of places don’t hire people just for the summer and 2) sometimes applying isn’t enough, you have to follow up like you did! Which isn’t really a big deal, but for an introvert like me, I would have really hated to have to keep calling/going in to the place.
    That’s crazy about the Michael’s interview falling into place like that! It must have been meant to be. I’m sorry you don’t get to decorate donuts, though- maybe in future summers when you’re older you’ll be able to do that job?
    I didn’t end up getting a job this summer. I did get multiple applications, but like you said, I felt so unqualified because of course, being 16, I had zero work experience and nothing to say for my skills either. I know everyone is there at some point, but that doesn’t make being “there” any easier.
    I also just got really anxious about potentially interviewing and in the end I decided it was causing me way too much stress, so I’ve just been dog sitting and baby sitting instead, as well as trying to get in volunteer hours and enjoying my (probably) last free summer. I do wish I had gotten my nerve up and applied somewhere, but I’m not beating myself up over it either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Ahh I know, it still surprises me when I think about it.
      Yes, exactly! And on top of that, not all places hire people sixteen and up. I know what you mean, the following up gets hard because you don’t know if you’re getting anywhere.
      I know! Hahaha, decorating donuts at least once will remain on the bucket list. I feel like it’s hard for decorating donuts as a job to sound zero percent fun to someone. There has to be some of that video game vibe to it.
      Yes yes, me too. That is a really good way to say it-it doesn’t make being “there” any easier. That feels true for being a beginner in general.
      Ah, I love that you knew what was best for you, and I’m so glad you chose to roll with it instead of forcing yourself into something you knew would’ve cause you stress. How was dog sitting and baby sitting? Honestly, super energetic dogs and kids for hours at a time sound way harder than what I did. Wait, what do you mean by last free summer?? I’m planning on the summer after senior year to be pretty low-key and relaxed. Maybe next summer on the applying??

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true!
        Haha, I feel like decorating donuts is a job I never would have thought of doing but if it was offered to me, I wouldn’t pass it up.
        Dog sitting was good! I really like doing that because the dogs (and a cat) I took care of were really chill. At one house, they had their own doggy door and both the dog and the cat used it (the cat didn’t even use a litterbox, lol) so all I had to do was go in the morning and night to give them food and pet them for a while. Usually dog sitting is more intense if you have to go multiple times throughout the day to let them out, but it was so easy because of the doggy door! Baby sitting was less chill, but still fun. :)) I babysat my friend’s little brother while she was at camp and he was really cute.
        Oh, I just meant that I will probably have a job in summers ahead! Although I might not get one before freshmen year of college- you’re right, that’s a good time to relax. Plus I might have orientations or camps or whatever goes on that summer before!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, this is so neat. I have never really done the job hunting thing, but it always sounded really intimidating. It’s awesome that you have now had this experience! And the jobs you got sound great! I am glad you like them, even if you had to pass up decorating donuts.
    I recently had an interview and got a job at a local music school teaching voice. It’s crazy because I didn’t think I would actually get paid to do something that had to do with my degree, but here I am!
    Crafts can be fun sometimes, but I don’t really do them much.
    I just finished rereading The Book Thief and it is SO GOOD.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I don’t think I stopped to consider the intimidating factor until I actually started. Thank you, I completely agree. Ahh haha, I do wonder a little bit what it would’ve been like to decorate donuts. It kind of reminds me of one of those video games!
      Ahhh, no way!!! That is amazing, Story Sponge! Do you teach kids or older students?
      Yes, that is how it is for me too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. this really was the loveliest post!! so encouraging and awesome!! glad you got such great jobs :DD God’s really amazing isn’t he??

    also, ever told you how much I love your blog – your style and your content?? COS I RLY DO!!

    Liked by 1 person

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