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Student life

Do I get a job at university?

It’s no secret that students aren’t exactly rolling in it – once you’ve totted up your accommodation, food, text books and other living costs, you may find there’s not a huge amount left for “fun” spends and socialising.

But now that you’re at uni - meeting new people, learning new things and generally becoming you - you might be enjoying your newfound independence, and therefore not quite so keen to request a loan from the bank of mum and dad.

In these situations, a part-time job can sometimes take some pressure off the purse strings during your time at uni.

Is a student job right for you?

Before taking the leap, the most important question to ask yourself is - do you have enough time to get a part-time job without jeopardising your studies?

Courses and universities vary hugely, so if you have a lot of lectures, seminars and contact hours, you may struggle to find the time for a part-time job. You’ll also have to weigh up whether you want to spend all your free time working between lectures and finishing off assignments.

You should also consider how you would commute to your part-time job. If you don’t have a car at university, then you’ll either need to find a job within walking distance, rely on public transport or make sure you take your bicycle to uni with you. If you’re taking public transport, consider any additional costs involved and deduct this from your potential future earnings.

Do you already have a job lined up over university holidays? For those who already have guaranteed work at home over Christmas, Easter and summer, getting a job at university may be less important. Equally, if you feel that you don’t have enough time to get a part-time job at university, then it may be worth applying for a part-time job at home during the holidays.

What are the benefits of having a job at university?

Now that you’re asking yourself all the right questions, here are some ways you could really benefit from a student job at university:

You’ll meet people outside your course

Even if you’re enjoying your course, you might not want to talk about it all the time! Some jobs, such as working for the students’ union, can be really sociable and a great way to reach out and meet new people outside of your course or halls of accommodation.

You’ll be able to splash the cash

The biggest benefit to having a job at university is the extra money you will be receiving. If you’ve joined an expensive society, love to socialise a lot or just need the extra cash, then a job can help you out massively.

You’ll gain invaluable work experience

As well as having plenty of cash in your pocket, jobs are also a great way to squeeze in as much student work experience before you leave uni as possible. You could look for a job that’s related to your course, or simply something you’ve always wanted to try. Either way, you student job could help you fine-tune your interests and discover more about what you’re really good at – as well as what you’re not!

Top tips: How to get a part-time job at uni

Once you’re pretty confident a student job is right for you, do your research to find a job that will fit around your studies. If you do decide to get your job hunt underway, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Tailor your CV

Before you make any application you need a great CV, so avoid spelling and grammar mistakes like the plague. Try making a CV for each job so that you can showcase your most relevant experience.

2. Consider a holiday job

It’s easy to think of a student job as something you do after lectures. But part time work during the holidays can provide that much needed injection of cash before the next semester, so it’s certainly worth considering.

3. Get started early

If your term hasn’t started, get your application in early before employers are flooded with CVs. Scope out the kind of job you want and apply before you arrive on campus.

4. Hit up your university

Working for your university could be a smart move. Universities understand that your degree is your priority, and offer flexible jobs that work around student life. The other benefit of a part-time university job is that they may only need you during term-time, so you won’t necessarily have to worry about giving up your job when you head home for the holidays.

5. Put your degree first

Whatever job you end up doing, it should only make your time at uni easier. Be up front and clear with your employer ahead of time about the hours you can realistically work to accommodate your course schedule, and make sure you work around your studies and not the other way round.

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