Summer JobWith summertime right on the horizon, you may be embarking on a summer job. Summer is the perfect time to get your career in gear–even if you take on a summer job that is temporary, seasonal, freelance, or contract-based.

So, how can you make the most out of a summer job, particularly if you want to make an impact on your brand socially? Is it just a matter of working hard…or do you need to do something a little out of the ordinary? And what can you do to extend your progress past the summer?

Check out these suggestions:

Understand your schedule

We all have busy schedules, especially in the summer. If you’re working multiple jobs or have more than one commitment, make sure you understand how your schedule may influence your new job. If you’re coming into your job late, tired, or frazzled because you worked too much the day before, it can affect your performance. So be sure you evaluate what’s going to work and what won’t fly in terms of your schedule.

Quick tip: Create a spreadsheet which clearly outlines your schedule. This will help to keep track of your responsibilities while assisting in making adjustments as needed. In addition, carve out time to blog or post about your experiences in real-time so you don’t forget anything about your experiences.

Go overboard

Even if your summer job is seasonal, it’s still important to go above and beyond. Does your co-worker need help on a project? Offer your input. Is your boss struggling to fill some shifts? Take some on if you can. Is your team tapped out of ideas for this month? Do some brainstorming and come to the table with a fresh perspective. When you go overboard — in a good way — the organization will begin to see you as an asset, not just a summer worker.

Quick tip: There are always new trends and tactics in the social world. For example, if you’re working in an advertisment agency and they don’t use a popular online network to promote their brand, come up with a realitistic strategic plan and present your case.

However, there’s a difference between going overboard and invading someone’s responsibilities. Be sure to tread lightly when it comes to going above and beyond in your summer job. If it seems like a co-worker or manager doesn’t appreciate your enthusiasm, ask what you can do for them. This can open up the lines of communication without bruising anyone’s ego.

Ask for more responsibility

It can be intimidating to ask for more responsibility, especially if your summer job has an end date. However, more responsibility means a more fulfilling experience, which is obviously pretty great for your career. Start small by suggesting that you have additional time to dedicate to a project. Or, you can be more direct with your boss and show why you’d like to take on more. Either way, asking for more responsibly illustrates your dedication to the position, which is particularly admirable since your job may not be permanent.

Quick tip: Only ask for more responsibility if you see a future with the organization. If you can only handle blogging three times a week, don’t ask for more. If monitoring the social networking channels of clients is too intimidating, don’t volunteer for that task just yet. If you’re unsure about your role or your time, you may not be ready to take on a more advanced role.

Don’t burn bridges

Let’s say summer has come and gone and your employer doesn’t have the resources to extend your employment. Although you may be upset about this, avoid the temptation to burn bridges. Instead, thank your employer for the opportunity and ask if they are aware of any other positions in the field. If you had a good relationship, chances are they’d be happy to refer you to another job. This helps you to land something after summer comes to an end and solidifies your relationship with a past employer.

Quick tip: Don’t wait till the last minute to find out whether you’re staying or going! Try to have regular meetings with your employer so you can figure out your next moves. In addition, there’s nothing wrong with tooting the horn of your employer online. If you feel like it’s appropriate, mention your employer in your social channels and thank them for the great summer opportunity. This not only makes you look good, it also boosts their name recognition.

Making the most out of your summer job is a great way to boost your career and improve your chances for additional work. When you put these tips into action, especially socially, you’ll find that your summer will be more rewarding than ever.

What do you think? What are some other ways to make the most out of your summer job?

Lynn Dixon is the co-founder and COO of, an employment network that quickly matches people who are interested in flexible positions with the right opportunities. Connect with Lynn and Hourly on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.