Working part time can sometimes feel like its impacting negatively on your studies, but I believe there are many more positives in earning your own money. Something I first found odd coming to uni was no one had a job, not even during half terms. Whereas, back home, you were the odd one out if you didn’t work.
I’m not saying working part time alongside your studies, even during half terms, is good for everyone, especially depending on contact hours. But I do think it can improve your job prospects after uni, and, as cliché as it may sound, help you develop into a more well-rounded individual.
Here are my main reasons why a part time job is an asset, rather than a hindrance:
- You learn the value of money: it’s much easier to spend money that isn’t yours (i.e. your parents’ or student loan). Once you start making your own, you’ll be much more cautious in spending it, not only how much, but also what you spend it on. It’s much better to work on budgeting skills now, whilst still in the safe university environment, than when you’re out working in the real world. Being financially self-sufficient, even somewhat, from your parents, can provide a real sense of independence.
- You meet new people: and gain confidence from doing so. Some may argue, ‘But I meet new people all the time at uni’, but encountering people from outside the student bubble is usually a very dissimilar experience. You might not get co-workers from the same socio-economic background, or even of an age anywhere near yours. But this is what makes it so great; you all pull together as a team, regardless.
- You learn to balance: not just plates, but your uni work and your job. It can be argued that this is where it all goes wrong for some employed students, but this is why those who manage to do both come out the other side much stronger. Time spent reading, planning and writing essays now has to actually be just that. Procrastination is much less likely when you’re employed, as you simply don’t have time. As I mentioned above, it’s also a great break from uni work, to get out of the sphere of it all and remember there is a real world outside Sheffield University.
- You appreciate uni more: obviously I don’t want to be a waitress my entire life, but this is precisely what makes going back to studying after work much easier. Sometimes we may take the intellectual development side of university for granted. We all have to start somewhere, and working an often repetitive, manual labour job will make you appreciate your future career even more, and push you to work harder to achieve it.
- You actually have a job: this seems obvious, but imagine walking in on your first day at work following graduation, and never having been in a real place of work before. Some may argue that a retail store or the local café is in no way similar to an office, but it isn’t about where you’ve worked, rather the fact you have. Assets such as learning new practical skills fast (and often on the job), working under pressure in a busy environment, self-motivation and teamwork will stand out on your CV, against all the others whose only section is ‘Education’, with nothing under ‘Employment’.
So if you’re currently unemployed, just consider for a moment what you’re missing out.