Part-time jobs for students: the benefits and pitfalls

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Deciding to get a part time job alongside their studies is a decision many students debate over.  There eventually comes a time when many students realise that they’ve spent way too much money and have to survive on beans on toast until the next installment of their student loan comes in.

Being a full-time student is very demanding and is very much like having a full-time job with a 40-hour week. The decision to add a part time job to that mix is not a decision to be made lightly. To help with it, I’ve compiled a list of some of the pros and cons to help you decide what is best for you.

Pro: Extra Money

The main reason many students get a part time job is to increase their budget. Having that extra bit of money to support yourself really helps; you can put it towards a saving goal such as a car or a holiday and it undoubtedly gives you more independence.

Con: Working too much 

One of the most important things whilst in University is to get the best grade that you can get and part-time work can easily interfere with that. Part-time work comes with its own stresses and, depending on the role, the workload could be very demanding. Working too many hours can also take a hit on your social life and you may start feeling lonely, withdrawn and left out from your friends.

Pro: Experience

A part time job gives much more than just money. It offers valuable work, life, team and real world experience. Working part-time should give you the opportunity to develop new skills and to handle responsibility. Depending on the role you may work in a team or face new and different challenges, all of which will give you invaluable personal experience for future job interviews. Plus, it also gives you the opportunity to meet different people and develop confidence.

Con: Lack of Sleep and Downtime

Sleep is very important as a student. But, if you work for too many hours it will impact on the time you get to spend tucked up in bed. Remember that a goods night rest is important for keeping the mind alert. Giving yourself some time off to unwind is equally vital, and can help to keep you relaxed and happy. This can be by doing something that you love, whether it is watching TV, reading a magazine, or playing a game.

Balance is Key

Finding a balance is key. If you are organised you will have the ability to balance both your studies and part-time work. It is wise to not work more than 16 hours a week as a student, but this number can vary from student to student. Yes, it can be very tempting to work more than 16 hours a week, especially if you only have a small timetable. So remember to be realistic about just how many hours you can work, bearing in mind that you still have to do work for your course such as key readings, assignments, group work etc.

Working part-time can diversify you and adds a lot to your CV. Just remember to find the right balance for you.

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