It seems to be a running joke that students are notoriously poor, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Laura Slingo suggests how to boost your income.
With the student maintenance loan leaving the average student £265 short each month, it’s easy to see how debt can quickly rack up.
But debt doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of university life. If you have the time and inclination, getting a part time job will not only give you the spare cash that you so desperately need, but it can, inadvertently, set you up for later life.
Here’s four tips for finding a part time job as a university fresher.
1. Establish your shortfall
First and foremost, sit down and figure out how short of cash you are each month. This will then highlight how much work you’re going to have to do, to make up the shortfall.
Depending on what free time your course affords you, most universities recommend that you only work for 15 hours a week, so you don’t end up falling behind in your studies.
Remember you’re at university to study, make friends and learn other essential life skills. This part-time job will allow you to continue doing those things; it shouldn’t be something you have to fit those things around.
2. Consider your availability
When you find a part time job that you can do, ensure you talk through with your employer what your availability actually looks like, and what you can realistically commit to each week. There is no point in getting used to earning money at the detriment of your degree.
3. The best types of part time job as a university fresher
This could be any sort of shop, from your local convenience store to a high street fashion chain. Typical duties could include working the tills, stocking shelves, customer service and being the general dogsbody.
You won’t need past experience, however you will probably be required to work weekends, which is good for your degree, but not so good for your social life.
Essentially you’re a waiter or waitress, so customer service is the key. Expect to wait tables and maybe do some washing up.
However, you will probably get free food out of it, so every cloud… But the hours can be long and you will more than likely be on your feet the entire time.
This could involve anything from pulling pints to clearing tables, bouncing, collecting coats or even cleaning. You’ll mostly work in the evenings, meaning it won’t interfere with course work, but there will be a lot of late nights and drunken students to contend with.
4. Where to find a part time job as a university fresher
So here’s the million dollar question, where do you actually go to find a part time job?
Use social media to hunt out potential opportunities. Check out the company’s website, they might have vacancies posted. Reach out to hiring managers on Twitter or LinkedIn.
These aren’t just an excuse to stock up on your stationery. Ask at the stalls if they hire students part time during term time or holidays. If you are interested in working for a particular company, be proactive and seek them out.
Sign up to a job board
They have databases full of part-time jobs that need filling. Just remember that certain job boards deal with certain types of industry, so do your homework first.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. So take the initiative, go into where you would like to work and ask if they are currently hiring. They might be looking, but haven’t actually got round to advertising yet.
Just to reiterate, whatever part time job you end up taking, it shouldn’t interfere with your studies, they are first and foremost, the most important part of your life right now.