JC students normally have about 8 months to spare before university start. While travelling, outings and binge-watching dramas can be relaxing at the start, it gets boring after a while, especially when you run out of money.
In this article, we like to suggest 5 meaningful jobs that you can consider to keep yourself occupied and to earn an income at the same time.
# 1 Internship & Admin Jobs
There are tons of opportunities out there. For example, some startups are happy to welcome JC students.
If you’re unsure about your future plans, feel free to work at any company of interest because every experience is valuable. The world is much more complex than the gilded school environment.
We spoke to a student doing her internship at a flower shop, not to grow flowers but to do marketing and collaborations with cafes, spas and restaurants. Business development, she said, is useful for any future career. Ultimately, she learned transferable skills such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization), setting up online shops and fulfilling online orders. If you’re into coding, there are internships where you learn to extract customer information and create websites from scratch.
Thinking of working in government agencies and statutory boards? You can apply for their internships too by contacting them directly.
Admin jobs, or temporary staff jobs, differ from internships in that the job scope of an admin staff might be narrower. That said, it doesn’t mean you will learn less. Accounting firms offer jobs such as retrieving and checking data. Ultimately, if you can prove to your employer that you are capable of doing more, they will expose you to more opportunities.
To browse jobs, Recruit Express and TechInAsia’s “Jobs” section are places to start. Take note the minimum commitment duration (usually 3 to 6 months). Some companies even offer 1 month rolling contracts.
If the company you’re interested in do not post recruitment advertisements for interns, you can still try to contact them directly. There’s no harm trying.
# 2 F&B Part-Timer
Many JC graduates eagerly venture into the field of F&B for some quick extra pocket money, or because they want to try doing something they have never done before.
If you are observant, the industry can teach you valuable lessons such as how businesses are run and how you can deal with difficult customers.
We spoke to a student working at a Michelin star ramen restaurant who shared with us how shocked she was at how many people think that purchasing power equals to authority. Facing rude and impatient customers is all part and parcel of her journey.
Learning how to solve these issues improves your people skills, flexibility and problem-solving abilities. Of course, you can also get free food at your favourite restaurant.
Our interviewee says: “You will leave the job being more understanding and appreciative of the service sector staff. Small things like smiling at the waiter, “please”s and “thank you”s, acknowledging service staff when they greet you will really make their day, and it really isn’t that hard to do.”
# 3 Retail Part-timer
Retail jobs are equally rewarding if you take your job seriously. A student working at Abercrombie and Fitch shares with us:
“A&F has a monthly staff evaluation (that I failed the first time round). I was asked, “if a customer asks you for a fresh smelling fragrance, which would you recommend?” But all the fragrances smell the same to me so what on earth is a “fresh” smell?”
She learnt from another associate that “working at A&F is like going to school – you have to mug your product knowledge and then you get tested on it. It reflects very badly on you when you’re unsure. It’s not something you can easily hide in front of customers.”
Be prepared to answer other wild questions such as “show me the most exclusive and expensive item in this store!” and stand for long hours. Of course, you’re rewarded with staff discounts.
You can apply directly to brands you’re interested in.
# 4 Start Your Own Business
We all had moments where we wished hard that Singapore sold something that we were looking for. Why not be the one to make the change?
Starting your own business is not as hard as you think. We spoke to a Carousell seller who earns $400 – $500 per month by importing goods from Taobao and repackaging them.
She advises interested students to “do your research and know the market. Price your items at the lower price to build a following base. Price them higher if you’re busy and unable to deal with too many orders.” A tip is to keep updating your profile with items and update old listings to keep your account active.”
An online business will teach you how to manage your bank accounts and how to develop mailing and pricing strategies. Ecommerce is an up and coming industry so there is no harm learning the basics of it.
If managing an online stall is not your thing, consider being a flea market artist. The Red Box and the Local People organize art markets once a while. Students can rent a booth at a discounted price (or even for free). Make your own art pieces, design some unique jewelry or create your own food item and you’re good to go! People we interviewed told us that they learnt first hand labeling, packaging, designing and price setting.
# 5 Be The Teacher You Loved
Schools sometimes allow ex-students to stand in as part-time teachers or relief teachers. If you love a certain subject so much, or can’t get enough of going to school, get involved in spreading your love and inspiring your students.
As a current part time teacher told us: “The most fulfilling part about teaching is having the opportunity to impact my students the way my teachers impacted me. I’ve had very good physics teachers all through secondary school and JC, so I aim to be as good as them. ”
Instead of discussing how to do a question, you’ll be discussing how best to teach the question. Also be prepared to have students a year, or even months younger than you awkwardly bowing to you.
Alternatively, consider being a tuition teacher for children from low-income families. You can check out Stardykaki in Taman Jurong.
Spend Your Time Wisely
Having a stretch of 6 months or more where you are free to do whatever you want without the stress of studying, getting the right internship or finding a full-time is a luxury that doesn’t happen often in Singapore.
Aside from working, there are so many more things you can do with the precious free time.
You can pick up a new sport, travel with your friends, run a marathon, contribute articles to the newspaper and websites, or even start a community project. But remember, don’t forget to spend time with you family as well.
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