A lot of you are probably thinking about whether or not you should get a part time job at university. The main question you should ask yourself is firstly whether you have enough time.
If you are going to struggle to fit in your part time job with your studies, societies and other commitments you have then you may want to consider if this is the right time for you, or sacrifice something else.
I have had a job throughout my time at university because my maintenance loan didn’t cover my rent, let alone living expenses. My friends also call me a workaholic, but that’s a story for another day. Personally, I found it fine juggling my uni work, sporting commitments, social life and job. However, it is important to note that my course has relatively low contact hours which I think made things easier for me compared to someone who does a very full-on course.
There are pros and cons to having a job at uni. Firstly I will explore the pros, before moving onto the cons. Obviously you get paid to work, so if money is your motivator then a job will do you well. If you are struggling with finances at uni, a job will also help with this, as you will have more money to play around with. Having a job in itself will teach you so many skills such as customer service, business acumen, patience, time management and problem solving. All of these are really important to future employers so having a job will set you up well for the long run when you are trying to find a summer internship or graduate scheme. They also give you situations to talk about during an interview situation. I am a really strong advocate for having a part-time job because I believe it teaches you so much responsibility and other really valuable skills.
However, a part time job can take up a lot of your time. You need to be prepared to give up that time for someone else. Additionally, although you have your contracted hours, many places of work will ask you to do overtime. This can be tempting because it means you will get a larger paycheck at the end of the month. If you have the time to do extra hours this is great, however, if you don’t then you need to get comfortable with saying no (I personally understand how difficult this is) and making sure you prioritize your uni work. One thing I also personally struggled with, with having a job was when I was on a late night shift it would often mean that I couldn’t go out with my friends. This might sound very menial but I get very bad FOMO, so this is something else you should consider when you are searching for your part time job.
So, now you have decided that you do want a part-time job, it is now time to choose what job this could be. There are a variety of different jobs which are suitable for students which I have listed below:
1. UberEats/Deliveroo food courier
I actually worked for UberEats myself. This job is so ideal for students because you are essentially self-employed, which means you chose the hours you work, and it’s super easy to get a job here. I delivered food on my bicycle, so make sure you think about whether you are fit enough for this job before you apply. It is A LOT of cycling and your cardiovascular fitness needs to be good.
2. Work for your University’s Student Union
There will be a number of jobs available at your SU including bar staff, waitresses, cooks, cashiers, and student ambassadors for the university. Working for the SU can be really beneficial if you are worried about your part time job taking over. A job with the uni will work very well for you as they understand that your studies are your main priority and give you allowances for that. It also means you are only required during the term time, so you are free to go home during the holidays.
3. Work for a Catering/Events Company
Again this is another job that I have had during my time at university. These jobs are good for students because they are on an ad hoc basis. You are not tied down to a contract where you have to work a certain number of hours a week, and you can fit the work around your studies. If you don’t want to work a certain day you just tell them. I personally loved the flexibility. The only thing with this job is that you are often required to work long hours which start either really early in the morning or end late at night. I sometimes had to work until 3am at events, which meant I was exhausted for the next day. However, this is definitely a good job to consider.
4. Hospitality/Retail in Your City
Loads of students will work in cafes, bars, restaurants, supermarkets and shops in the city they are studying in. These are great because you are given a set amount of hours each week so you know you will have a regular income. You are often given the opportunity to work overtime which means if you have a particularly quiet week you can earn some extra money. However, often jobs like these require you to stay and work over the holidays, which isn’t ideal for a lot of students.
Tutoring is another great way for students to earn money. You can teach the subject you are studying at uni to 11+, GCSE or A-Level students (depending on your competency). Again the hours are flexible and work around your timetable and you often get paid a very high hourly rate. You can either sign up with an agency online, or be entrepreneurial and go at it alone.
Happy job hunting!