What do you do during summer? Rest? Read? Attend summer classes? Travel? Play basketball? Watch TV? Go to the mall? Go to the beach? Be on your gadgets all day? Now that you don’t have to be in school all day, it’s okay to indulge in some of your favorite activities. But have you thought of earning some money this summer?
Among more well-off families, it’s very common to see children enrolling in summer classes or traveling to places here and abroad. It’s hard not to feel envious when all you see is the fun they’re having on their curated IG and FB posts! Here you are, clicking the “Like” button with a heavy heart and wondering, “How about me? Will my entire summer suck? What can I do that’s fun but not expensive for me or my parents?”
The answer: Get into an earning and learning activity this summer! And this advice is for everyone, no matter your financial background.
Here are the steps that you can take.
1. Assess your talents, skills, and passions.
What are the things that you are often praised and admired for? Do you have certain skills that you seem to be a bit more advanced in, which you can do with less effort compared to your peers? What are you passionate about, something that you don’t mind doing even if you don’t get paid? Are you a good singer, dancer, writer, photographer, videographer, or video editor? Perhaps you’re good with organizing, teaching, managing money, acting, directing, or coding?
These are your clues that you have unique wiring and God-given gifts. These are your best starting points when brainstorming for jobs you can do to earn, or even just learn more, this summer.
2. Find your Ikigai.
This is the Japanese concept that means “reason for being.” To us Filipinos who are mostly Christians, we may call it God’s will or our calling. The diagram below best explains this philosophy, the one that wakes you up in the morning raring to start your day.
There are four circles that overlap each other. The top circle represents what you love. Moving counter-clockwise, the next circle represents the things that you are good at. Now try to fill in the first two circles by using what you came up with in Step 1.
Then the bottom circle represents the things that you can actually get paid for. At this stage in your life, you may have not experienced getting paid to sing, dance, or write, but guess what? People do pay for these things.
The last circle answers the question, “What does the world need?” And you know, the world needs a lot of things from different kinds of people, including you.
If remember your Venn Diagram lessons in math, then you’ll see how this works. So, fill up those four circles. Then you will be able to zero in on one or maybe two or three points of intersection – your Ikigai!
I call this your sweet spot, the point where you are most likely to succeed.
3. See what opportunities are out there.
This generation is so blessed to have Google. You can easily search far and wide, at any time, and learn more about your points of intersection. Are there jobs that take in high school students during the summer? Look for internships. Ask your parents, titos and titas.
Add the data you gather to the third and fourth circles to your Ikigai diagram.
4. Apply for a job – or create it.
Apply for the jobs that interest you using your Ikigai diagram. If your points of intersection are not jobs you can apply for, then maybe you can create your own. If you’re a good dancer who can teach kids to dance this summer, just post about it on your social media channels. Ask family and friends to help get the word out.
5. Give it your best shot and have fun.
This is now your preview of the real world. It’s your first taste of how it is to earn your own money. I will be remiss if I don’t remind you to “Pay yourself first” once you receive your first pay. Save and invest something out of your summer job or business.
You will realize that one summer is not enough to explore your ikigai, and that’s fine. Once you go back to school, you may wish to keep that as a side hustle, but don’t forget that your priority is school work.
Next summer will be another opportunity to explore the earning world. Using this time to prototype or try out the different career choices out there is definitely a good use of your summer break, whether you post it on your social media channels or not!
You’re now exercising your earning muscles so that once you graduate and officially join the workforce, you will already have experienced handling your own money. To further hone your money management skills, it’s good that you know where you stand in your money knowledge and behavior scale. Take the FQ Test to know your score.
Enjoy earning this summer!