student life

Why a part time job at university is helpful

Waitress, kettle mag
Written by kayleygilbert
It is a decision that every student makes carefully, but one that is often a necessity: having a job whilst studying.

It is a decision that every student makes carefully, but one that is often a necessity: having a job whilst studying. Every student could do with more money, but taking on work whilst studying can be both a blessing and a curse, so the decision is often difficult. 
But, if you feel you have the time, working part-time can be a brilliant choice. There are lots of part-time jobs available with reasonable and flexible hours, especially in University towns and cities, and you won’t be alone: almost 90 per cent of students today take on some form of employment whilst studying.
Here are four of the main reasons why you should consider working while you study:
You’ll be on your way to financial independence
One of the worst things about being a student is the (seemingly forever) low bank balance. Working while you study is a great way to earn an extra bit of money which can be the difference between dipping into your overdraft or not. It’s a great feeling to know that you can keep yourself stable by working, and actually be able to afford a round at the bar on a Friday night.
In university towns and cities, there are many employers looking for students. As these jobs tend to be flexible, you can work with your employer to make your working hours suit you. Depending on what suits you best, you can either fit these jobs around your lectures to leave your evenings free, or work evenings in pub and clubs to give you free time during daylight hours.
Proof of skills perfect for your CV
Working, even in the most basic job, equips you with fundamental employability skills and an experience from which to prove these qualities in interviews. Common student jobs, such as retail assistant or waitressing, can teach you about team work, multi-tasking, communication and problem solving. 
Taking this extra work on whilst at university also shows that you can manage your time effectively, have good organisational skills and are a motivated and driven student. These are qualities that every employer looks for.
Having a job also introduces you to recruitment and employment routines, such as application forms and interviews, giving you good practice for when you leave university. Prior to graduation, a part-time job can also provide you with employment referees for further applications.
Pushes you to work hard at your degree
Working part-time can be a stressful additional pressure, but as long as you are a driven and motivated person who wants to do well at your degree, working can be a real boost.
With slightly less time to work before deadlines, there is less time to waste. This can really motivate people to get work done and work at a higher standard. With limited, rather than what seems to be limitless time, you may find that you can get a lot more done.
Plus, working alongside your degree gives you a good break from studying. When you can no longer stand the sight of your textbooks and are pulling your hair out trying to finish that essay, an employment can give you the time away from the books that you need. The time away can help you process what you are working on which can make things like essays easier to complete.
It can help you choose a career path
Many students, myself included, are unsure of what they want to do after they graduate. Although you may have a rough idea of the area you want to go into, how can you decide without actually experiencing the job? 
Well, that where a job comes in. Having some experience in the world of work provides an opportunity for you to identify which areas of work you might want to work in later on. With the wide range of jobs and volunteering opportunities available to students, you should be able to find some work or work experience in a relevant field. 
By experiencing the kind of job that you might want to aim for after graduating, you can get an insight into what it’s like on a day-to-day basis. This will help you decide whether that is the kind of career you want to pursue upon graduation or not. With this information, you can either cross a potential career off your list and look into another, or continue to get work experience in order to increase your chances of landing your dream job.
So, although you may fear that working whilst you studying will be a detriment to your degree, it can actually be really good for you. Good for your career, your grades and, obviously, your bank balance.
Have you had a job at university? Do you think having a job can help or hinder your university studies? Have your say in the comments section below.