Summer jobs that can turn into great careers

Summer is considered a period of change. Similar to the New Year, when the summer holidays hit, we start contemplating what we want to do with our lives, especially if we’ve just finished a college or university course.

However, did you know that some of the jobs many of us take on during the summer period have the potential to turn into something more?

Take the following jobs…

All are ideal for those looking for a summer change whilst you transition between courses or are waiting to continue onto the next stage of your education. However, with a little creativity/additional learning on your part; they could be turned into great long-term careers.

Retail work

Easily one of the most sought-after jobs amongst studying students, there are always part-time roles that you can flexibly fit around your study and social commitments.

The question is – which one do you want to explore i.e. supermarket, high-street chain, or independent store?

Another thing to remember is that retail isn’t all about clothing and food. For instance, if you’re interested in pursuing a career in publishing, then applying to work in a local bookstore could prove beneficial as you’ll get to witness and partake in the organisation of author events. Likewise, if you fancy one day becoming a chef or running your own restaurant, then getting a job in the kitchen could prove helpful to your future career.

Work abroad

From working as an au pair for a family to teaching English as a foreign language, to working as a holiday rep… all of these jobs would allow you to earn money as you travel.

  •  Au pair – if you’re considering a career in childcare, then working as a live-in nanny may be up your street. Before applying though, we recommend adding an online childcare course to your arsenal (if you haven’t got any childcare qualifications on your CV already) as this will increase your odds of getting the job. Likewise, being first aid trained will make your application more appealing.
  • Teaching English as a foreign language – if you’re already training to be a teacher or are considering a career in this field, then simply having a degree would allow you to teach English as a Foreign Language in another country – yes, even without you being a teacher. And this could prove to be a great learning experience, as you’ll get to test how you react within a teaching environment. If you discover a natural affinity for teaching, then you can apply for an online teaching assistant course or register your interest in completing a PGCE.
  • Holiday rep – possibly the most popular working abroad job amongst students, holiday reps perform a multitude of jobs. From leading children/family-focused activities e.g. evening entertainment, sports/pool activities, and holiday clubs, to assisting families/couples with tours and daily outings to local venues… you’ll be called upon to help in a variety of ways.

Knowing additional languages is a bonus here, so if you’re in the process of completing an online French course or are studying geography at university, then you’d have an edge against the competition.

TV or film extra

Now, this would require a bit of research on your part to discover where auditions are taking place; however, TV shows and films are constantly looking for bodies to fill in the backgrounds of scenes.

Things to know are – the hours are usually pretty flexible and you’re likely to earn £80+ per day, depending on what you’re needed for. The more actively you’re used in a scene, the more you could earn. A great extras job is being an injured or ill patient in a hospital scene as you’ll get to wear prosthetics.

Festivals and events

With summer, there is the anticipation of great weather, so it is unsurprising to know that there are usually a lot more festivals and events taking place during the summer months.

Now, if you aspire to work in event management, or want the opportunity to prove your organisational skills; then applying to work at a music or food festival could help you get the experience you need to apply for future event management roles.

The thing you need to consider is, a lot of music festival organisers turn to free volunteers first – with the promise of a free ticket – before they start paying for help, so there won’t be a lot of money involved. However, if you’re more interested in bolstering your event management skills/experience – before you apply for an event management course – then these are a great place to start.

Typical tasks include: giving out wristbands, selling programs, and cleaning up litter.

Temp work

You’d be surprised by how many people discover a passion for a career through pure chance. Temping is one of those opportunities where you get to explore a variety of industry niches and get to experiment with different roles.

From traditional office roles, admin positions, and customer services posts, to working as a receptionist in a hotel, hospital, or veterinary clinic… the idea behind temping is that you’ll temporarily cover a role and then move on while acquiring a variety of different experiences.

In any case, while you’re acting in this supporting role, you may have the opportunity to shadow or witness a job that you never considered for yourself before.

Work for your university

Not only does this allow you to stay local and work during the term time; but there are also plenty of job opportunities you can explore.

Accommodation, admin, events, libraries… many universities create dedicated graduate jobs where current students can utilise their social media, writing, photography, and marketing skills to assist the university and gain valuable work experience.

Pet Sitter

Summer spells family holidays and getaways, so getting a job pet sitting/walking will be incredibly easy. Add in an animal care qualification and you’ll have no problem gaining useful animal care experience while spending time with an assortment of cute and cuddly animals.

Tips: pet owners will want to know their pets are in safe hands, so proving you have got an assortment of animal qualifications will make you popular. For more information on how to bolster your animal care qualifications, check out our online courses.


Similar to pet sitting, summer is also a chance to boost your childcare experience as you’ll encounter plenty of couples/families seeking the chance for a romantic night out.

Before you apply, we suggest updating your first aid skills and getting a DBS. Likewise, if you can prove that you’ve got existing childcare qualifications, you’ll set many parents at ease.

Private Tutor

Summer can still be a time for learning for many, so if you’re considering a career in teaching, then working as a private tutor can give you valuable work experience – and not just during the summer holidays.

Private tutoring can also afford you the flexibility of managing your own hours while allowing you to specialise in different forms of tutoring i.e. a particular subject. In any case, this will look impressive on your CV.


This is one of those summer jobs that you may not take seriously at the time of applying but could open your eyes to a career you’ve never contemplated before.

For instance, you can partake in several different roles/industries e.g. construction, events, roofing, window installation… anything that is considered manual labour could fall onto your lap.

And this could prove useful if you’re currently not sure what you want to be, as these roles will give you a sneak peek into the position while allowing you to see what an apprenticeship would feel like.

Paid Summer Internship

Compared to some of the others on this list, this one is probably one of the hardest to get as not all businesses offer paid internships, making the competition for them incredibly fierce.

A great starting point is checking what businesses are promoting internships at your college/university. Similarly, you can try independently reaching out to businesses – through their website or by emailing them – and seeing if it is something that they offer.

Get your foot in the door and it could lead to a graduate job in the future.

Make money online

There are numerous ways to make money online, and take an interest in media/marketing and use it to earn money.

One of the easiest ways is to start a website and work as an affiliate marketer. In this position, you’d use your website, blog posts, newsletters, and social media posts to direct prospective customers to the main product website. If they convert into a sale, then the business will pay you for the conversion.

Alternatively, you can try being a blogger and recommending products; doing paid online surveys; working as a freelancer (e.g. blogger, writer, social media poster, web designer, etc.) or you could even start a YouTube channel.

Start a business

Summer is an ideal time to take a business idea and see if you can turn it into a career. Places like Etsy, Pinterest, and Instagram have proven to be invaluable for independent, small businesses as they have enabled people to promote their products/work/services and get themselves noticed.

Now, this one is particularly helpful if you’ve got a hobby that you’d love to share with others. The key to making it work though is creating a credible business plan and ensuring you have got the funding. So before you jump in, you may want to do your research or undertake a business management course, to offer you greater security.


See what we mean? A lot of these summer jobs, don’t have to stay in the summer. With the right qualifications and insights, you could take this summer work and use it to solidify your long-term career plans or job aspirations.

So if you’re interested in making a change, or are looking for ways to transition onto the next part of your career; then why not give some of these a try and see if they are the solution you’re looking for?

 For more information on online courses, or how to bolster your skills while you work, check out our website today.

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