Why You Should Work Your Way Through College
Going to college is a great opportunity to learn and earn a qualification that will help build your future. It’s also a time to make new friends, have fun and generally enjoy college life. For many students however, time at college can be financially challenging and many finish their further education with debts that can take many years to pay off. Finding a part-time job at college has two main advantages – it will ease the financial pressure during and after your college days and will impress prospective employers that you have initiative and a solid work ethic.
Unless you have extremely wealthy and generous parents, tuition fees and the cost of living will stretch your budget regardless of the financial aid that you qualify for. Taking a part-time job will help in a number of ways. It will put money in your pocket every week; it will help you avoid overdraft fees or incurring interest if you have to turn to a credit card to survive; and, while you are at work you will be away from the college bars and cafes that can be a drain on your finances.
There are usually part-time jobs to be found on college campuses and in nearby towns. The work might not be glamorous but college bars need staff, local restaurants need help in the kitchen and serving on tables and, shops near to campuses will often be looking for extra staff during term time. Call centers often rely on students to work evening and weekend shifts, and factories and warehouses will take on students as temporary workers. You can find available positions on local recruitment websites, in local newspapers and often just posted on campus notice boards. Bars and restaurants may advertise vacancies in their windows and if you are struggling to find work it is worth dropping copies of your resume into local businesses.
The majority of part-time student jobs may not look as impressive as an internship with Google on your post-college resume but you will develop some useful skills regardless of the work you have done. Simply holding down a job for a period of time indicates some level of reliability and motivation. Bar work or working in a call center demonstrates experience working with customers and many other part time jobs will show that you can use your initiative, plan tasks and solve problems. Many graduate employers want to see evidence that a job candidate is employable in addition to having excellent academic qualifications and college employment is a great way to show this.
Getting The Balance Right
If you work a part-time job at college, your financial worries might ease but time management can become an issue. Don’t work too many hours and avoid shifts that you force you to miss classes or work late at night before an early tutorial. Leave yourself time to meet academic deadlines and remember that your time at college shouldn’t be all work and no play – leave time to enjoy yourself as well.