Four Keys to Success

How to Not Hate Your Job


Graphic by pnx via Openclipart and Mary Kroeck

Cecelia Hernandez

The job market is tough, but it doesn’t have to be a total drag. I was recently checking out Craigslist for any job openings a sophomore could actually get. I constantly asked myself, “What do I want in a job? What do I need from a job?” Money obviously came to mind, but after some thought, I came up with four qualities that a job must have so that I don’t end up hating it as much as I hated my last job, especially over the summer.

  1. Find a part-time job. If you’re just working for yourself, with no other serious responsibilities besides a few small bills, there’s no need to invest so much of your time into a company that couldn’t care less about you and your personal goals. Sure, full-time employees have more benefits than a part-time employees, but keep in mind they’re also giving more to the company. Their life revolves around their job. Unless you intend to build a career within a company, stick to part-time. You’ll be making decent bank while still having enough time for other external hobbies you might enjoy.
  2. Find a job or paid internship within your interests and career path. My biggest pet peeve is wasting time and effort doing something that will lead me to a dead end—where there’s no foreseeable future. Find a job that seems fun (or at least tolerable) to you.
  3. While trying to find a job within your interests, make sure to ask your employer about their philosophy on higher education. Ask as soon as you can, even while being interviewed, if this part-time job would interfere with your summer class or fall semester schedule (and if you plan to stay at the job longer than the summer months). Yesactually ask straight up, without hesitationtalk to them about this. You want to make it clear from the beginning that your education is a priority to you. (If you don’t mind missing class for a job, that’s your decision, but if you do, let them know.) Take your education seriously. Trust me, you’ll thank me later, especially if and when your boss asks you “Do you really need to go to college?” after requesting you change your availability to better suit their schedule. Ask first, just to avoid confrontations later.
  4. Lastly, the location of a job can be very important. I tried finding a job that was in between NEIU and my home so I can work as much as I can, while still arriving to class on time.

For assistance with your resume, cover letter and general job hunting, visit NEIU’s Career Development Center,