What are some of the best jobs to have while I wait for my real job to start?
August 12, 2010 3:27 PM   Subscribe

What are some of the best jobs to have while I wait for my real job to start?

Long story short: I'm a May '09 college grad that's been around the world doing internships and am finally back in the States looking for a real job. I have a solid opportunity that doesn't begin until around December (giving me around 3 1/2 months of financial limbo).

So I want to know, what sorts of relatively menial jobs are the best to fill this kind of gap, in terms of pay and work environment? Retail? Restaurants? Manual labor?

FYI, I'm in the Southeast if that affects your suggestions.

Thanks.
posted by BasileusPY to Work & Money (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I made good money tending bar when I was in a situation similar to yours. I enjoyed it more than waiting tables.
posted by The World Famous at 3:31 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Temping is always good. You can tell them you have a limited time period, which isn't normally a problem.
posted by two lights above the sea at 3:39 PM on August 12, 2010


If you're going to wait tables (which is good because you can make more than min wage if you're good at it and bad if business is slow) go for a high end restaurant that serves alcohol. Bigger tabs = bigger tips and you'll do pretty much the same amount of work (if not less) than working at TGIFridays or a local diner.
posted by NoraCharles at 3:44 PM on August 12, 2010


I adored delivering pizza. If you're prone to road rage it's not for you, but I loved being able to crank the tunes and drive around all night, and the cash-in-hand from tips was nice.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:48 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Local hardware store. Ace or True Value. Who doesn't want to cut keys and mix paint once in their life?

"High end restaurants" aren't going to hire anyone who rolls in off the street without experience, especially in this economy with a virtually unlimited talent pool.

Good luck.
posted by sdrawkcab at 3:50 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


The best plan is ... whatever it is that you're planning to do ... do something like that.

In other words ... Gonna be an accountant? Go temp for an accounting firm.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:08 PM on August 12, 2010


I paid my way through school at a carwash. It's relativly stress free with as much or little responsibilty as you want. Plus you will always have a clean car and funny stories involving people doing very stupid things.
posted by WhiteWhale at 4:31 PM on August 12, 2010


If you want to go the restaurant route, there's more money in bartending. Quick, easy cash and it's also interesting and fun to talk to all the different types of people that come in. You can learn a lot about people this way.

Also, I would suggest you stop referring to the job you want to get with your college degree as a "real job." It implies that the jobs you are looking for now are somehow "fake" or demeaning. Nothing pisses me off more than some asshole at my bar asking me when I'm going to get a real job.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:08 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Security guard - lots of opportunities and flexible schedules.
posted by analog at 5:32 PM on August 12, 2010


"Also, I would suggest you stop referring to the job you want to get with your college degree as a "real job." It implies that the jobs you are looking for now are somehow "fake" or demeaning. Nothing pisses me off more than some asshole at my bar asking me when I'm going to get a real job."

@MaryDellamorte
Didn't mean to offend. It's just important to realize that each person gives more or less value to a particular job based on their own personalities and experiences. So job X may be great for you, but I may not like it. Thank you for your comment though.
posted by BasileusPY at 7:15 PM on August 12, 2010


If you like teaching/training and kids and you're willing to have a crash course in flexibility, thinking on the fly, and presentation skills...consider substitute teaching. It's relatively easy to do in most states with a college degree, pays decently for the number of hours you work, requires taking no work home (most of the time), and is always interesting. Yes, it can be exhausting at times, but you learn a lot that's applicable to a lot of industries. I always find myself back there between jobs.
posted by eleanna at 8:35 PM on August 12, 2010


Pluck chickens, pump gas,and work the third shift - do something that scares you just a little for safety and/or financial reasons. Give yourself reason to appreciate your upcoming job once you are in it. You'd be surprised how the idyllic job doesn't seem like work, and you are more appreciable of the dollars you earn when you have a better point of reference for alternatives.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:34 AM on August 13, 2010


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