Working whilst at University – tips, advice and our experiences

Managing your social life around university can be tough – but even tougher when you throw a job into the mix as well! However, don’t get put off of having a part-time job at uni - they can be hugely valuable, especially when applying for graduate jobs in today’s tough jobs market!

Benefits of part-time work

A part-time job at University gives many different positives to your life. To start off, you’ll have a little extra money to help pay bills or rent! Although working a couple hours a week doesn’t provide a huge income, it does allow you to live more comfortably and have money to spend on relaxing and unwinding. With the increasing costs of living and smaller maintenance loans, a few extra pennies from part-time work will certainly help out! Having worked hard to earn the money, you’re also more likely to value your money and budget it better – it’s something that many students may not have had to think about before, but budgeting is a really important thing – more on this in a future post!

Aside from the extra money and budgeting skills, part-time work can be really great fun. If you’re like us and enjoy meeting new people, then gaining a job is an “outlet” from other manic and hectic things going on in life. It provides a good opportunity to get your head out of a textbook whilst gaining new friends, skills and money at the same time. A common complaint from employers of graduates is that they lack real-life experience and commercial awareness – gaining part-time work is great for your CV and will help you stand out from the crowd a little bit more.

 
Signing our contracts as Viewing Consultants!

Signing our contracts as Viewing Consultants!

 

Balancing your job with studying

Many students say that having a job alongside University will distract you from your studies and impact your grades. In most cases, this isn’t true and the positives of having a job certainly outweigh the negatives – it’s vital to get a balance of good grades and enough work experience in order to put yourself in the best possible position for when you graduate. Make sure you are ruthless with your time management – there are only 24 hours in a day and it’s important not to spread yourself too thin; don’t over commit and make sure you look after number one before anything else! We’re fortunate to have more than one job alongside University, however remember that your degree is your priority and that it is ok to say no sometimes! A good thing is to keep everyone in the loop – make sure you tell an employer if you have a deadline or exam coming up as they will be more understanding if you can’t make a shift. Likewise for friends and family – tell them if you’re stressed or if you have a busy diary. There’s nothing worse than friends trying to tempt you on a night out when you have an important deadline – if they’re informed they will be more understanding and less likely to put you in a difficult position!

Tips on finding a job

There are many ways of finding employment – especially when you’re a student! Many employers like having students as part of their team; they’re young, flexible and bring fresh ideas into a business. The best places to find a job are:

  1. Jobs websites such as Indeed, Monster, Reed, Totaljobs
  2. A quick look around town – many shops advertise in their windows and take CVs so no need to spend hours applying online
  3. Careers Hub in Roland Levinsky building – the guys down there are great at giving CV tips or alerting you of any potential vacancies
  4. UPSU - Student Union – There are always vacancies throughout the year to help out on the University shops, cafes, bars, etc. The hours are usually flexible and well-paid so keep an eye out for any potential vacancies
  5. Networking – Get your name out there! Many of the jobs we’ve gained are through being recommended by our current employers or through meeting new people and being invited to apply. Get your name out there – having many contacts and building your network really does help!

Our experiences

We are both lucky enough to have multiple jobs whilst at University which helps aid our social lives and day-to-day bills. Not only does it help having that little bit of extra money, but we’ve also learned so many life skills – the biggest one being learning how to stop being “people pleasers”, being more realistic when handling people’s expectations of us, and also learning to stand up for ourselves and not take any rubbish from anyone! It’s also made us a lot more confident and outgoing as people – we’re no longer the shy and timid boys we were when we were 16 when we first started working, we love meeting new people and have grown in confidence! It all started in B&Q, and since then we have gained experience running weddings and events, running bars, selling houses, selling shoes, and writing blogs! We’ve done almost all types of part-time job and can thankfully say that they’ve all help build the characters we are today!

Having fun at B&Q...!