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Jobs whilst you are a student
Member Name: kittykat18
Jobs whilst you are a student
Date: 17/06/02, updated on 17/06/02 (1498 review reads)
Advantages: Money, meet people, work experience.
Disadvantages: Boring, low pay, could be out clubbing.
- Extra cash -
The thought of starting full time work with several thousands pounds worth of debt is enough to get many students working part time alongside their studies. You will get experience of handling and making your own money, plus have more money to spend on whatever your heart desires.
-Meet people -
It can be hard to meet people when at university if you don't want to join a zillion societies. Certain jobs such as bar/waitressing and shop work are full of students so you will meet lots of new people, hopefully make some new friends and enhance your social life.
-Work Experience -
Ideally you should do some work related to your degree, however it is not always easy to get interesting paid work with so much competition. But any job teaches you important skills and gains you a reference (hopefully). When you leave uni and start looking for a job, a year or so of a part time job will look a lot more impressive than 3 years of bumming around getting drunk.
*Reasons why working is a bad idea:*
If you go to uni away from your home town it can be difficult to find a flexible job. I wanted to work when I was in Cardiff but also wanted to go home regularly which was not possible. Temping or casual work is a possibility if you want to work but don't want to be tied down to your university town.
- May affect your studies -
Oxford University does not allow their students to work any more than 6 hours per week in term time (which isn't really worth doing at all). Other universities insist, or strongly recommend that students work no more than 16 hours per week. If you are working more than that it is a tough job to juggle your studies with the responsibilities of your job. It should not really be necessary to work more than 16 hours a week as even 16 hours at minimum wage works out at over £65 a week. If you are in your f
inal year or have exams coming up it is not a good idea to work, but if you must, stick to only a few hours a week. There is no point going to uni for 3 or more years only to fail because you were working too many hours in a job rather than studying. Although it can be a struggle financially, think about the earning potential you will have with a good degree.
-Difficult Employers -
It can be hard to find a kind, understanding boss. You need someone who will be flexible and let you change shifts if you have a test the next day, or you are starring in a play/playing in a match. Managers are not really renowned for being kind beings and might sack you if you take the biscuit.
-Missing Out? -
Look at all the opportunities you have in your time at university- societies, campaigning, writing for the student newspaper, watching This Morning-if you are out working you are limiting the time you have to do all of these! I do not think this is an issue though as you can balance a part time job with other activities if you are organised.
-Low Pay -
You are not going to be qualified for any really well paid jobs until you graduate.
As a student you are likely to be on minimum wage (£4.10 for over 21's and a disgusting £3.50 for 18-21 year olds although many employees will pay £4.10 to all over 18's) or maybe a bit more. Is it really worth all those hours of slaving away for the pathetic pittance you get? It is VERY irritating to work in a pub or restaurant and realise that one drink costs you an hour of your time in work.
-Dull Jobs -
You might be lucky and find a job you really enjoy such as working in a nursery if you like children. The rest of us will continue to moan about our jobs, dread going in and will the hours away while there. This depends on your personality- some people do not mind doing the same task over and over again while others would be crazy. If you get on with the people
you work with and are treated with respect you will be more able to cope with boring tasks, but if you hate them all and are treated like a skivvy you won't last long.
A good point about working in a dull job that you hate, is that you appreciate studying as you use your brain, and it makes you realise that you need to get your degree and never ever do such a rubbish job again. Then in 10 years you might be a manager, remember how much you hated your shop job and treat your employees with respect so they work well. It's all education and life experience!
*How do I get a Job?*
-University Job Shops -
Many universities have job shops run by the student union. These are job agencies designed for and run by students. You will probably have to go in, fill in an application form and maybe have an interview before they will place you in any job. Many of the jobs will be temporary or for special events such as promotions or conferences at the university. You will have your rights protected as you are working for the university and the employees actually want students so tend to by sympathetic to their needs. Ask in your student union if they run a job shop and join if you are looking for work. Join in your first week and get in first. If you are at a campus university such as Keele or Lancaster there will be more competition for the jobs so present yourself in the best possible way.
Local newspapers will usually have a "job" day (In Birmingham it's Thursday) with all the vacancies listed in the paper. On this day get the paper as soon as you can and phone up any prospective jobs. Avoid ones that are vague about what the actual job is and sound too good to be true because they are (they are most likely to be door to door sales jobs with no pay, just commission).
Similar to the uni job shop, these will be in the city centre and on the high street and include
big names like Pertemps and Kellys, as well as smaller local agencies. Go in and book an interview. Some of them may not want to take students on as they only have full time vacancies but ask anyway.
Many agencies now allow you to join online although it is very likely they will still phone you for an interview.
-Online Searches -
There are a number of websites devoted to jobs for students. Try:
-Data Entry -
This is the kind of job you are likely to get from an agency. Pay will be around £5 an hour for sitting in front of a PC and entering numbers or details repeatedly. Full time it is a terrible job which makes you feel like a robot, but part time it is ok, you get on with the work on your own and may be able to listen to a personal stereo. It's not exactly a career, but can get you other job openings within the company and is an easy way of making money.
-Bar Work -
You go home stinking of lager, sticky and you are always working on a Friday and Saturday night, or whenever people are going clubbing. But you can have a good laugh in a relaxed environment, listen to some good music and pick up quite a few tips (or drinks). It depends on the pub in question, and on you- if you can give as good as you get then go for it. Most pub jobs are got by simply going in and asking.
Can you stay calm when being yelled at? Can you grit your teeth when you have complaints coming from every direction? Pay for waiting staff is usually low, but may be more if you can do silver service or are working somewhere posh. If you look smart and smile sweetly you can make a lot in tips. You may get free meals or at least reduced, so although your feet will kill and you will curse the customers (
in private), you shouldn't go hungry and will gain useful customer service experience. And you will be nice to waiting staff for the rest of your life because you know what it's like!
-Shop assistant -
Can be terrible, can be ok, depends on the shop. The hours should be reasonable and pay can range from minimum wage to fairly good if you are working in an expensive shop in the city centre. Look in shop windows and ask friends if they know which shops are recruiting to get a job in a shop.
*Interesting and Fun Jobs*
Few and far between, but here are a few ideas:
Children's party organiser, starting your own company (I have a few ideas but get your own!), English tuition, GCSE tuition for local children.
I am 20 soon and have been a barmaid (3 times), hotel assistant, waitress, repographics assitant, glass collecter, kitchen assistant, cook, childrens group leader, and data entry clerk. And I still have a minimum of three years to go of being a student so I think I am pretty qualified to write about jobs as a student!