“I can’t I’m busy.” My peers and I use this line often when asked to do something. Yet, what does it mean to be busy? At times, it means “to do a lot of activities” – from homework to clubs to volunteering. My thought is that the more I am involved in, the more marketable I will be to employers. Moreover, if I am not as busy as possible, I am afraid that I am doing a disservice to myself. But is just doing stuff, actually valuable?
“I can’t, I’m busy.” My peers and I use this line often when asked to do something. Yet, what does it mean to be busy? At times, it means “to do a lot of activities” – from homework to clubs to volunteering. My thought is that the more I am involved in, the more marketable I will be to employers. Moreover, if I am not as busy as possible, I am afraid that I am doing a disservice to myself. But is just doing stuff, actually valuable?
As a college student, it feels that “busy” is a synonym for competency or job readiness. We are encouraged to be in multiple clubs, have a title in the clubs, and focus fully on getting good grades in our classes. Then twice a year, we use these skills, dress up and go to “Career Showcase” to compete for summer internships. If we do not follow this plan, we are indirectly told that we are not marketable.
Beyond being busy, as students working towards graduation and our first job, it is apparent that “being busy” is not enough. We need to have specific skills that the current education system does not provide us. We need to move from “being busy” to “prioritizing more effectively.”
Right here is the issue of the “busy gap.” Students do not just need a colored resume to get a job in college, they need to be impressive on and off the paper. We need to show critical thinking, collaboration, leadership, and communication skills outside of school-related activities to obtain the jobs that we desire.
How does a student achieve this? The biggest way is through working in college. Securing a part-time job throughout college helps us to gain these skills. Moreover, by balancing work, school, and clubs, it shows that we are accountable. Beyond the important skills gained, statistics even suggest that those that work 10-15 hours per week are more likely to succeed in college than those that do not (College, 2017).
Currently, I am a sales development representative at The Selling Factory. When I first interviewed for the job, I never realized how much I did not know about the business world. With every client, a project comes with an explanation of the company that I support and why the work that I am doing is necessary for their growth. I have been able to ask questions about the work I am doing, and I have a full understanding of the importance of my tasks. It is more than a resume builder.
I have been fortunate to find a place and a position as a sales development representative that offers both work experience and value to my career goals. It is great to be involved and to be a leader on campus, but if we cannot apply those skills in a real work environment, all that time spent being busy was a waste. That being said, I fell victim to the “busy gap.” I know the work I am doing on campus can only get me so far. While being an involved student is important and can provide some real-world experience as far as scheduling and management, there are limits to its benefit.
College, P.H. (2017, August 30). Should I Get a Job While in College?