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?