The importance of Working at University
University for many is the plight of true independence, the chance to truly grow as a person and experience adult life in all its glory. Although student loans are great (until they need to be repaid they will rarely cover the cost of all your outgoings and your new hectic lifestyle)
A student job is the perfect way to supplement your finances, gain true independence and also gain valuable work experience and life skills. Part time jobs come in many shapes and sizes and if you’re really lucky you’ll get one that will actually benefit your future career. Sports’ coaching for example is a superb way to improve your prospects of becoming a PE teacher. Not only can you earn £15 plus an hour but also you’re developing fundamental job specific skills and developing those very important contacts.
So what are the benefits?
Having slightly touched on the obvious benefits in the introduction, the pros sure do out way the cons on this one. Money is an obvious factor and a small part time job will make the difference to your general lifestyle. Starting to work in a part-time capacity will be beneficial to you when you come to secure graduate jobs later. It shows you are a hard worker and have been able to hold down employment roles that will demand and develop all manner of essential transferable skills. Students who earn their own money also tend to develop greater budgeting skills as they appreciate the value of money and are more precious about the way it is dispersed. It is always good to learn the value of money early doors!
Having a part time job is meaningful and although it is not something you may want to make a career out of, it will allow you to use up free hours productively and you will appreciate your down time more. You will truly flow as a student if you get the balance of studying, working and playing. Try experience different jobs and roles, meet new people and experiences, it will give you great grounding for later on in life. Every job is a reference or connection and this can’t be a bad thing. Employees will pay particular interest to your volunteering and work experience, after everyone applying for that graduate job will have the same degree as you, so what else do you possess? Give yourself the edge. Holding down a job shows initiative, teamwork, commercial awareness and resilience. All superb qualities to hold.
Getting the Balance right
This is an important aspect to consider and factor in to securing a part-time job. Some would argue that working would be detrimental to your main aim of higher education and get in the way of your studies. Granted there will be times when your academic workload will be too much and will demand priority such as exam time or your final push during your dissertation. But for the main part of your academic life a part-time job with a well-planned rota or shift pattern will complement your students and personal development nicely.
Organisation is the key and you should be honest with the time you can give to a job without impacting too much on your studies. Use your smartphones diary features to capture all shifts, deadlines and events to ensure you are fully aware of what is coming up that week. Communication is key and work with your employer to ensure they know when you may be too busy to work or have exams coming up. Good employees will know how to work around students’ commitments.
Job hunting at University can still prove quite challenging so get out there with a decent CV and start hunting down those job opportunities. Bars and retail lend themselves nicely to the student lifestyle but there are many different opportunities available. Being pro-active is key and your first point of call should be the University ‘Jobshop” and Local Job Centre. You can also search online for vacancies in your area. Get out there into the shops and bars and hand out your CV or enquire about vacancies.
A few weeks volunteering may lead to a paid position so don’t be afraid to offer yourself up for free initially. Coaching jobs are also great and if you have a passion for sport the Local authority are always looking for coaches to assist and deliver extra-curricular sport. I personally funded my Higher Education this way and due to the nature of this work there was always camps running during the holidays. Alternatively there lots of different ways to make money and a simple Google search would send you off in many directions to make part time money to fund your studies. But essentially it is best to get a part-time job you will ultimately enjoy doing, otherwise you will hate going to work on your off days and evenings and then that will defeat the purpose.
In conclusion working part-time is a fun and worthwhile experience providing you enjoy the role. Try and get the balance right of working, studying and playing and then University life will really open up to you. The skills and qualities you will gain will serve you long term when you come to apply for those professional jobs after graduation.
Good luck from everyone at StudentSource