Get out of the way, Dad! I need a summer job!


When I was in college, every summer meant the same thing: I would make the trek home to Northern Virginia with an immune system that was depleted by weeks of substandard food and not enough sleep, kiss my family, catch a cold, and spend a week in bed.

While I was convalescing, I would update my resume, which meant that as soon as I felt better, I could print out a few dozen copies and begin papering the local mall. Within a week or two, just as I began getting freaked out by my inability to get a job, somebody would hire me, and I'd begin learning about knives, or kitchen supplies, or how to make subs. I'd spend the rest of the summer picking up all sorts of useful skills while pulling together enough money to buy books and beer for the following semester.

It was a kinder, gentler time.

According to a recent article in the New York Post, college students in search of summer jobs are finding themselves competing not just against each other, but also against an unexpected foe: adults. As prices on gas and consumer goods continue to soar, many people who previously didn't work or worked a single job are picking up part time gigs to make ends meet. This is squeezing out the college students who traditionally fill the ranks of entry-level positions during the summer and winter. Added to this, of course, is the fact that retail jobs, long a mainstay of summer-employment, are also taking a major hit due to the economic downturn. If you had a good job last summer or during Christmas, this might be a great time to re-establish some old business relationships!

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. If he was a college student, this would be the year to try to get a job in repo.