July will soon be over and I still don’t have a summer job. I swear it’s not for lack of effort, because I know just as well as my parents do that I need a job after spending 1.5 times more than usual studying abroad in England. I truly want a job, and feel like the universe is conspiring against me to prevent me from obtaining one. My parents don’t buy the conspiracy angle though, so I’ll often get reamed out for my lack of employment. How do I keep this at a minimum? Five easy steps.
1. Go home to visit your parents more than your siblings, then brag about it.
This one is as close to money in the bank (and in your parent’s will) as you can get. Parents love being visited, especially if they’re empty-nesters. If you have siblings, you’re set. You can use them as a baseline for how often you should be going home to see your parents. Always make sure you make it home at least once more than they do, and make sure to hit the important dates. My siblings couldn’t make it home for my Dad’s birthday or Mother’s day this year (which fell on the same weekend), so I made sure to. All the while I kept dropping lines like “where are my sisters?” to remind my parents which one of their lovely kids took the time to come home. Yes, technically siblings are supposed to have eachother’s backs, but throwing them under the bus to cover your own ass works too.
Time this will buy you: A while, if you keep reminding them.
2. Don’t answer the phone.
This one I really don’t like doing, because I try to answer every phone call I get. I do, however, have a bad habit of leaving my phone on silent. It’s this natural, bad habit that feeds right into this excuse for not answering the phone. If you know you’re going to get yelled at, put off calling back until later at night. From my experience, I’m less likely to get yelled at if my parents are near bed time. I call this the ‘sleepy principle.’
Time this will buy you: One day
A little cry never hurt anyone. Now I don’t ever take part in this activity, but I have thought of employing this tactic before, and after much thought I think it would be wildly effective. Parents hate to see their kids cry, especially if they get the feeling that you feel completely lacking of any self-worth. Parents have hearts; they don’t want to pile onto your misery by ragging on you for your joblessness. Your parent’s compassion can be exploited here, so let the waterworks commence and watch as they soften their stance for the time being.
Time this will buy you: A couple days, until your parents realize you’re a wuss in need of prodding.
4. Make up fake jobs that you applied for.
There was a running gag on Seinfeld where George pretended to work for a made up company called ‘Vandelay Industries,’ and like everything else on that show we should base our lives off it. Now just to be clear, I’ve applied for countless ‘real’ jobs. Some days, I couldn’t apply for a job for one reason or another though. So what happens when the rents ask what I did with my day? Vandelay Industries happens of course. I don’t use Vandelay, necessarily, but making up other jobs that you’ll never work for is never a bad idea. Always maintain the illusion of productivity in your job search.
Time this will buy you: One day, maybe less if they try google the company.
5. Give in and get a job.
If this step was simple, there’d be no need for the first four. Eventually we all need to quit the games and start getting paid. If you’re like me, you hate asking your parents for money, so getting a job is in your best interest anyway. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go apply for fake jobs (AKA go to the beach).