Many students turn to part-time work to get some extra cash while completing a degree. But finding the right part-time job can be difficult, when factors like university work, future career prospects and your social life are taken into account.
But before you even consider the DOs and DON’Ts of part-time work as a student, you have to get a part-time job.
Finding Part-Time Work as a Student
It’s often easier to spot opportunities for part-time work than permanent employment. Part-time work sees a greater overhaul of workers, as people move on to better jobs. You are probably more likely to find a wider range of opportunities in a city, as most part-time work (particularly for students) is retail or food and drink providers.
It can be smart to start looking for work around Christmas. These sorts of jobs often are advertised massively around Christmas, as companies desperately need more workers to cover the increased demand most retail finds in the Christmas period.
However, retail jobs are often up for grabs year-round.
When looking for these listings, using job sites is the way forward. Make sure to use reliable sites, as fraudulent job postings are a waste of your time, and can lead to unprofitable jobs that cause you undue stress. Check the reliability of job sites before looking for work. You can do this with a simple google. Alternatively, you can ask your fellow students which sites they have used in the past.
It can also work to check your university or college’s careers centre. Often, higher education providers will have their own website where jobs are advertised. The useful thing about finding jobs through this method is that they are more likely to be legitimate jobs. Your university or college wouldn’t be promoting them if they didn’t think they would be conjunctive with your studies.
If all else fails, go directly to the corporation’s websites to look for job postings. If you have a particular job in mind – such as a barista – go directly to their websites, where you know you will find opportunities for that specific role you have your eye on.
Once you’ve found a selection of jobs to apply for, you’ll need to send your CV, and likely attend an interview. Due to the industries they operate in, some part-time jobs will require you to do a trial shift.
To get a part-time job, you’ll need to impress at all three stages. One of the difficult parts of finding part-time work whilst at college or university is that you are likely to face lots of competition for each part-time job in being in a student area.
Make sure your CV stands out with relevant experience and demonstrable necessary skills. When it comes to the interview, present yourself as exactly what the company needs. For tips on interview techniques, do some reading before you go into the room.
Trial shifts, whilst mostly a way to test if you will do well at the job, are also a great way to decide whether this part-time work is for you or not. Don’t forget: an interview goes both ways. You should be interviewing them too, to see if the job is right for you. Think of your trial-shift the same way.
The DOs and DON’Ts of Part-Time Work for Students
So you’ve got yourself a job! Well done. But have you chosen wisely? Make sure you DON’T do these things to make sure you’ve made a smart choice for part-time work as a student.
DON’T Overwork Yourself
It’s important to remember you are completing a degree – and that this should be your main focus. If your work cuts away at your time for your studies too significantly, you might see a drop in your results. This can lead to any number of problems.
Think: is it worth letting my degree suffer to put in more hours at a part-time job? College or university is a unique experience. For most, it will only last four years. In comparison, you’ll work for decades after that. Respect the time you have at higher education, and make sure this takes the forefront, NOT your work.
Most higher education providers recommend 15 hours as the maximum amount of time to spend on a part-time job. With this number, there still should be enough time to focus on your degree.
But remember, 15 hours is the maximum. The amount you should spend will depend on other factors, like how much you value social time, and the type of degree you are taking. For students of medicine, who have much longer days than those on a philosophy degree, a part-time job should be only a few hours, if they have a part-time job at all.
DO Make Sure Your Job Is Worth It
Much in the same way you should check a job is legitimate when looking to apply, always keep in mind whether a job is worth it whilst working there.
Jobs can take a lot of work, and unfortunately, not pay too much. Many get part-time jobs for the money they bring in, and if you aren’t being compensated enough for the effort you are putting in, think about getting another job.
One of the difficulties of part-time work is that they are often wage-based jobs, meaning, you are paid hourly. It’s difficult to know how much you are earning (and therefore whether it’s worth it) when you aren’t sure how much you are actually earning week to week. A simple paycheck calculator can help you keep on top of the money coming in. From there, you can decide whether or not the job is worth it.
DO Make Sure Your Work Is Compatible With Your Future
It can be great to find part-time work within your field of study. This is an excellent opportunity – it will look great on your CV, and show future employers that you already know something of what the work will look like.
For many, however, this won’t be easy. Sometimes applicants will need an entire degree before someone is qualified to work in a field, or part-time work opportunities will be rare.
Don’t worry! You can frame every bit of work experience to look good for future employers. However, thinking about which types of part-time work will be cohesive is a good thing to do when looking.
If you are looking to get into work with interpersonal dynamics, looking for retail work in which you deal with customers – such as floor staff in a clothing chain, or front-facing receptionist duties – is a great way of developing your customer relations skills. Alternatively, those looking into work that requires organisation skills, working in admin part-time, will show employers that you have these skills.
The trick is to think smart when choosing part-time work. What will develop you as a worker in a way that is beneficial to your future prospects?
Part-Time Work: Is It Worth It?
When considering all the DOs and DON’Ts, part-time work for students is absolutely worth it. Money coming in, experience for the CV: what’s not to love? It starts to become an issue when a job is chosen poorly and drags you down. So make sure to stick to these tips, and you shouldn’t run into any problems. Plus, you’ll come out of the experience with some great prospects for your future.