College Students: Should You Get a Part-time Job?
For many college students, having a part-time job is a necessity to help offset the cost of tuition. However, if you’re one of the lucky few who have the option of choosing, here are a few things you may want to consider before deciding to get a part-time job.
Consider the Pros and Cons
Apart from the pay, part-time jobs are a great way to gain work experience, especially if you have don’t have any. Having a service job will give you transferrable customer service skills that you can apply in any future client-facing role. An unexpected benefit of working part-time in college is that it can teach you valuable time management skills. Having to do more in the same amount of time will teach you how to prioritize and use your time wisely.
In addition to giving you something to put on your resume, part time jobs are a great way to get professional references (assuming you’ve made a good impression). Keep in mind that your first job will unlikely be your favorite job. However, your first job can serve as a way for you to get the necessary experience to land a job in your preferred field in the future.
On the other hand, having a part-time job in college can also have some downsides. Working part-time could mean less time for you to focus on your studies. Remember that as a student, school should come first. If you think having a part-time job could jeopardize your academic performance, consider working during the summers instead.
Another thing to consider is whether working part-time will affect your social life. The friends and connections you make in school will be just as valuable as the things you learn in the classroom. Could you be getting involved in clubs and spending time with your friends when you would otherwise be working? Or could you simply be relaxing and catching up on your favorite show? These are the kinds of questions you should ask yourself before getting a part-time job.
Decide What Kind of Job is Right for You
If you’ve decided that a part-time job is right for you, the next thing you should consider is what kind of job to get. Part-time jobs for students can typically be split into two categories, on-campus and off-campus.
On-campus jobs can include everything from working at the campus bookstore to doing research with a professor. They are a great way to connect with your school community and to build your professional network.
Off-campus jobs include everything from internships to retail and service jobs. Internships are essential for gaining industry experience and landing a full-time job in your field after school. Unfortunately, not all companies pay their interns. Alternatively, you could look for freelance opportunities to gain experience in your field. However, as with internships, not all freelance opportunities guarantee a paycheck.
If you’re in need of money, a more traditional part-time job may still be your best bet. Opportunities in retail and food service may not be related to your field of study but they pay and typically offer flexible hours.
Where to Find a Part-time Job
Where you can find a part-time job varies depending on what kind of job you want. If you prefer an on-campus job, refer to your school’s job board and ask your professors if they know of any openings. If you’re looking for an off-campus job, consider Merlin.
Before you get a part-time job, you should consider how it could affect your academics and your social life. If you think a part-time job is worth your time, you should try to get a job that aligns with your professional, social, and financial goals. If you end up taking a part-time job, figure out your priorities and try to find a balance between school, work, and your social life. Let us help you find the right part-time job today!