Jobs, most people in college have one. They range from being a waitress to being an emergency medical technician (EMT), and the possibilities are endless on temporary jobs that don’t require a degree. Most don’t pay much, but it’s enough to keep us afloat while we move towards a degree. The beauty of jobs at our age is that many of our options can be counted as real resume and experience builders. For example, if you wish to be a teacher then a tutoring job would be a good place to get some grounding.
I work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA 1), and it’s the most rewarding job out there in my opinion. There is a CNA 2, but there’s not that big of a difference in what I can and cannot do, so I decided not to go further in my certification because it comes at a significant cost.
As a CNA, I work for an in-home care company. I get assigned a client and then I read up on their condition and their needs. Then I go to their homes and I do whatever is necessary, which can include getting them dressed, feeding them, getting them into bed, showers and even doing simple errands for them. I sometimes clean their home, or paint their nails; sometimes I even just sit there and provide them with company.
It’s a very rewarding job with a ton of benefits. I get compensated for mileage because I have to drive to their homes and sometimes it’s a bit far away from campus. Thirty-five to 45 minutes is the average time it takes to get to a home. The compensation is good, but the time lost going back and forth really can be a downfall. It’s stressful to have to worry about classes and studying when you work so far because those 45 minutes there and back could have been used to study rather than sit in traffic.
One great benefit about working as a CNA is that if you’re planning on going to medical school, becoming a physician’s assistant or anything that requires clinical hours, you can get them through working as a CNA. You can rack up your hours and get paid, which is such a better alternative to working a minimum wage job where you’re not advancing on your career in anyway.
You also get a lot of experience from working a job like mine. I’ve worked at nursing homes with people with dementia, sun poisoning, paralysis, you name it. It’s a very rewarding occupation financially and emotionally. I get paid between $12-15 an hour plus mileage, and on top of that I’ve met some of the kindest souls on this planet. I’ve met people that have gone on grand wonderful adventures and others who have lived a just as wonderful sedentary life. Every single one of them forever thanks me for helping them. Everyday I work I get a thank you before I leave or during the job.
Ultimately I would say the pitfalls of working as a CNA is the distance you have to travel to do it and maybe a bit of back problems since you sometimes have to lift up your client but I think the positives outweigh the negatives. You meet new people, you learn new things, you get hands on experience, you earn clinical hours, you get great pay. It’s honestly such a wonderful job and I would recommend it to anyone, even if they aren’t pursuing an occupation in the medical arena.
If you’re not interested in working in geriatrics while in college (even though it’s more fun then it sounds I swear), you can get other jobs that are just as rewarding such as tutoring children K-5 or getting certified as an EMT and working in the emergency room (That’s my next goal). You could also teach low-income immigrants the basics of the English language ( I used to do that for free but I’m sure that charging them if you’re good and patient won’t be a problem) or babysitting if you like children. You’d be surprised how observant kids are if you guide them in the right direction. Working at an animal shelter is another option.
There is an endless amount of jobs that you can work at our age as temporary jobs until you get into something more stable, and you never know your job right now could lead you into something similar later that pays better and is permanent. At the end of the day, what I’m saying is my temporary job makes me happy and I’ll get to look back on my college years later and actually be able to say that I was so incredibly happy. It’s not okay to be miserable because you hate your job or anything else for that matter. If you don’t like the way you’re living, then change it.