Author: Derek Goodman
If you’re studying or intend to study at college and wondering how you’ll make ends meet, you may want to consider taking up a part-time job. Working whilst earning a degree may not always be easy but it could provide you the funds you need for upkeep and give you a leg up upon graduating.
The best roles for students tend to have flexible hours and fit within a course schedule. For this reason, try to seek employment close to your college.
Libraries, both on- and off-campus, often need assistants to help sort, list, and itemize books – they may also offer benefits that could make studying easier. This is a role that will benefit those who are taking humanities subjects or who prefer a quieter, less stressful environment. Applicants are often expected to have basic computer literacy, strong organizational skills and the ability to interact clearly with others.
On the other end of the spectrum, bartending represents a flexible, hands-on role that could provide income as well as social opportunities. Many students enjoy the late starting hours of working in a bar as they tend to complement the day cycle of lectures/seminars. Bartending applicants will usually be expected to have strong social skills, a positive attitude and the patience to learn new skills.
Waiting tables at restaurants or cafés is a common way to earn in a relatively low-pressure environment and, depending on where you work, could provide huge financial benefit via tips. If your schedule favors morning work, try looking for cafés and, if it would be easier to attend shifts in the evening, prioritize restaurants. Waiters typically require a good memory, multi-tasking skills, and a friendly, outgoing personality.
Retail outlets always need extra hands and working in-store can be considered an option for students who need an extra source of income. Shops and retailers often have high turnover, especially in areas where students live (as people graduate and move location), meaning you’re more likely to find vacancies. To work in a customer-facing shop role, you’ll need lots of patience with people, some organizational skill, and the ability to work well in a team.
When it comes to getting hired, most part-time, student-based roles don’t have excessively high requirements. It’s still important, however, to develop a clean, concise resumé that highlights your most appealing attributes. Include a ‘professional profile’, which describes who you are and your strengths. Don’t be afraid to include any extracurricular skills you have as employers will often try to find an application for these.
When it comes to the interview stage, it’s important to dress smartly and project confidence. Even in a more relaxed, social role, employers want to know that you’re capable of maintaining professionalism and completing tasks with diligence.
If you’re thinking of attending college and the above options don’t appeal to you, it might even be worth considering online courses. By studying remotely, you’ll have more freedom to explore employment opportunities – this might also represent a cheaper degree option.
Working and studying simultaneously isn’t always easy but it is sometimes necessary. If you’re worried about finances, take the time to review your options and choose an employment option that works best for you.
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