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Dear Ari.

Dear Ari,
This summer, Momma wants me home in Cape Breton, and my boyfriend wants me to stay in Freddy. It seems like everybody’s putting pressure on me but I have no clue what I want. How the heck am I supposed to focus on getting a summer job when I still have over a month of school left anyway? How do I know what my best option is? How do I tell everyone to back off?
Sincerely,
Undecided Una

Dear Undecided,
As hard as it may be to think about summer when you’re still in school, if you’re looking for a summer job you better get a move on! Since you don’t know what you want, it’s definitely best to keep your options open, and the best way of doing that is by keeping track of job postings. You may also wish to consider looking at postings all over Canada or even all over the world – you never know what you may find and what you may qualify for.
UNB’s Student Employment website provides us with a handy-dandy job bank that has a filter especially for summer jobs. In addition to that, Indeed.ca is another great website, where you can create a profile and narrow down your search to suit your experience and needs. If you’re considering staying in New Brunswick, you should definitely apply for the SEED program (Student Employment Experience Development). These are New Brunswick government grant jobs that are designed for summer students.

It may seem difficult to manage all of your schoolwork as it is without the added stress of trying to find employment, but if you put the effort in now, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress in the months to come.
Try planning out the next week in terms of all of your work and activities, and on the day or night that seems the least busy, take an hour or two to browse through the job banks I mentioned above. Make a bookmark folder on your browser so that you can come back to the jobs that interest you later. Be sure to take down the dates that each application is due, and prioritize based on that.
If a cover letter is ever optional, WRITE A COVER LETTER. Do everything in your power to let your potential employer know who you are and what you have to offer. Tweak your resume and cover letter for each position you apply for. You don’t need to tell an engineering firm that you led the arts and crafts group in high school, but I’m sure the summer camp would love to know that you did!
At this point in your life, you need to look out for number one. Your mom, your boyfriend and your friends will all need to understand that you need to work on padding up your resume. Your best option is the highest paying job that still holds your interest.
If your loved ones don’t back off, you have my permission to pull a “La la la! I can’t hear you!”
Affectionately,
Ari

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