Get What You Want Most from Your Job

May 13, 2013

So you have your dream job this summer — working with a ton of kids, having fun, and staying active at camp!* How do you make sure that you get exactly what you want out of your summer at camp? We’ve already talked about what to expect. Setting goals before the summer can be helpful and make you more aware of your desired outcomes.

Get Clear on What You Want

Start by asking questions like this:

  • How do I want my campers to feel at the end of their session?
  • What would I want campers’ parents to be able to say about my counseling abilities?
  • How do I want my coworkers and supervisors to feel about my counseling abilities?
  • How do I want to feel at the end of the summer?
  • What will allow me to do the best job I can?

Make SMART Goals

After you know what you want, make SMART goals toward getting there:


Examples of SMART goals:

  • I want to “catch” each of my campers doing something good every day.
  • I want to work with my campers to set 3–5 main ground rules of our camper group on the first day. (For help with this, read Stephen Maguire’s “The Cool Counselor: For the Right Reasons.”)
  •  I want to tell a coworker “thank you” for something each day.

Use these examples as a guide as you create goals specific to your job.

Keep a Record

As the summer progresses, it will be helpful to write your about your goals and how you are accomplishing them. That way, if you create a goal such as “Make sure all of my level-one swimmers are ready for level two by the end of the session,” you will remember the steps you took to achieve that goal — and the skills you gained. This notebook will serve as a reminder of your goals during the summer . . . AND afterward, when you are adding to your resume or portfolio.

If you have any other tips, share them in the comments below!

*Haven’t found your dream job yet? Post your resume or browse openings on ACA’s Summer Jobs at Camp site!

Photo courtesy of YMCA Camp Wabansi, Brussels, Wisconsin