Why not expand your horizons this year when it comes to getting that summer job?

Seasonal summer jobs, are not just sitting in front of you anymore. The typical places, such as fast food places, summer fairs and campgrounds, swell each year with summer students. Many of these larger businesses depend on them as many of their regular full time staff take time off in the summer. You will see many students at golf courses, camp grounds, swimming pools and more. But what about checking out the smaller businesses?

Many small trades, could use some help. They don't always advertise, because they will make do, or work extra time themselves to make up for full time staff going away. They just couldn't be bothered with the advertising, interviewing and finding someone.

But you are probably thinking, but I am not a tradesperson right? But there are many jobs that you can do for a small business.

Example: My sister is an electrician. She will quite often hire a summer student, to help keep the van stocked, clean up after jobs, and do other chores that take up time, that are not necessarily trade related. Stock keeping, picking up orders, even getting coffee. She hires them on, and all they have to get is a good pair of work boots. Summer is her busiest time as people get work done outdoors. She can use the help. She didn't think to get extra help, until a student approached her one year offering. She looked at the yard she was working on, that needed a trench dug to lay wire in, and quickly hired him on. He was thinking ahead of time, as he had his resume and information with him, so that she could hire him properly.

So, if you walk right by that local plumber or that contractor working on the house down the street as a potential summer job, because you don't think they are a big enough business to bother with, then you may be missing out on a good experience.

This is also a great way to find out, if you may be interested in a trade after school, or if this small business is happy with you, maybe they will consider you part time as well while you are back in school?

Sometimes just walking up to a business, dressed in work gear and some work boots will get you in on the spot.

Example: We were building a house a few years ago, and a couple of students approached wondering if we needed help.

We looked around and realized the site looked like a dump, we were on a time limit, and were so busy, we had not even thought of trying to hire someone we just kept working away at it ourselves. Having someone come up to us right then and there was a blessing. We hired them for a few weeks to help with cleanup etc. A contractor working across the road saw them cleaning up for us, and hired them after they were done at our place.

Contractors do have to watch out for their insurance, and will hire you properly, but if you are healthy, have good work boots, and follow instruction, then don't rule out the small one or two person small businesses in your area, as someone to approach for your summer job.

Yard maintenance companies, quite often need extra help in the summer. You can either try and start your own business doing yard work, or work for a maintenance company.

But don't rule out the local trades. It may be worth asking them if they need help, and if they are willing to hire you. Have a resume put together so they know who you are, and hand it to them in person. When you approach them, it wouldn't hurt to be dressed in work clothes and boots.. Many of these summer jobs are got on the spare of the moment, or at least start the next day.

If you see a trade working in your neighbourhood, you can approach them and see if they would consider hiring you to help out. Wait until they are taking a break, don't be yelling up at them on the roof! You can even give suggestions of what you could do, such as site cleanup or supply runs, even getting coffee.

Companies that depend on lots of summer students each year, will put an ad in the paper or at the employment center, as this is a huge part of their business. But a small business, even a one man show business or "micro business" may not do this. This is not a normal part of their business, and they will just work the extra hours when needed if summer is their busy time. So by approaching them in person, you may just spark them to think about hiring you on.

Sometimes, you may not even work for their main business. If they are really busy, they may need you to do work around their house.

Remember I talked about my sister the electrician? Last summer she was so busy, that her own house was in desperate need of cleaning, and lawn cutting and weeding. She hired on two students, one to help with the business, and the other to help out at her house. She hired them properly, and they were on the payroll. The one student cleaned her entire house and took care of the yard for 3 months. This helped her out big time. This was always such a stress each summer. She was able to take on more business knowing that her home was being taken care of.

Finding a good summer job, may take some creativity, but you can do it, and get some great experiences along the way. Working with small businesses will give you experience you may not get with a larger outfit. You may have to wear many hats, but all of this experience can be put in your resume to help with next summer or your full time career after school.