Student Life

Is A Part-Time Job Right for You?

Before you start the part-time job search, consider if a job is the right thing for you -- right now.

Aleena Islam

December 09, 2019

Is A Part-Time Job Right for You?
Many high school and college students have part-time jobs, whether it be to save/pay for college, boost their resumes, make a little extra money, or all of the above! Although many of your friends and peers likely hold part-time jobs, it’s still important to make sure that you have the time and skills necessary for a part-time job before you start to work. It’s true that a part-time job can be a very rewarding and valuable experience, but you have to first decide if a job is feasible for you at the moment. A job is a huge commitment that requires a lot of responsibility, so let’s first weigh the pros and cons of getting a part-time job!

Pros

1) Steady Income This is probably the biggest reason that students choose to have a job while they’re still in school. Having a little extra cash in your pocket is incredibly valuable as a teenager or student, since you can put it in your savings, use it to pay your bills, or simply spend it to go out with friends. Part-time jobs are a great way to earn some money while also giving students more financial independence and teaching them the valuable lifelong skill of managing their expenses and savings. 2) Time-Management Skills and Responsibility Balancing work with school and a social life will definitely require you to develop and hone your time-management skills. In order to attend school, study, do extracurriculars, have downtime, and work, students are going to develop time-management skills, a skill that lasts a lifetime. Working also tends to make students more responsible, both as a person and when managing money. 3) Experience No matter what industry or field you work in, the skills and experience you gain will help you in your future career. Even if you work in an industry that you have no intention of working in the future, you are still gaining valuable skills such as communication, collaboration, and responsibility, as well as showing future potential employers that you have a strong work ethic. 4) Exposure to Potential Careers Working as a high school or college student exposes you to a variety of jobs and positions that you may find yourself interested in. You may find that you truly enjoy working in a certain industry and may look for possible career opportunities in that field. Part-time jobs are a great way to expose yourself to a variety of fields and career paths!

Cons

1) Less Free Time If you’re working, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you will have less free time than you did before. That means less time to relax, study, work on you hobbies or go out with friends. Before getting a job, always consider your own schedule and the flexibility of any potential job to make sure that you are prepared to prioritize your job over other aspects of your life. However, do note that school should come first, so plan for this accordingly when looking for a job. 2) Impacts on Academics In some cases, a job may impact the amount of effort and studying you put into your academics. With a job, there will likely be less time to study for a test or finish all your homework. Always put your schoolwork first, but, with good time-management skills and a strong work ethic, it is still entirely possible to hold down a job and do well in school. 3) Exhaustion/Lack of Sleep Especially on the days when you have work and school, you’re likely to be more tired than usual. Lack of sleep from staying up late to study or do homework also contributes to increased levels of exhaustion if you don’t have enough time throughout the day to complete your work. Consider how tiredness makes you behave and react when applying and having a job. Sometimes, students don’t always consider the downsides to having a part-time job, but that is a vital part of the job-searching process. Make sure to take into account your current schedule, your course load at school, transportation, social life, need for extra cash, and the importance of a social life and personal time when it comes to deciding if a job is a good fit for you. If you think that you can handle the responsibility of a part-time job, then congrats! The first step of the job process is over! Now, you have to actually find and apply for jobs that you can see yourself working in. There are a lot of job sites and job listings out there for anyone to find. Some of the best advice I have is to apply for a handful of jobs and be patient! Apply to a couple of different jobs so that you have some backups if you get a bunch of rejections. In some cases, you may not even get a response to your application at all, but don’t stress too much about not getting a job right away! It sometimes takes a while to finally land a job that you’re interested in. When searching for open jobs, be sure to assess the location, hours, pay, etc. It’s probably a good idea to look for jobs closer to your home and/or school so that you don’t spend two hours a day simply commuting to and from your place of work. Also, think about the required hours for the possible job. How many hours are you going to have to work? If it’s something like 6 hours a day after school, it may be a good idea to pass up on that job, especially if you are taking a number of difficult classes. All the factors I mentioned above may seem like a lot to consider when looking for a job, but it’s really not that overwhelming when you actually get going in your job-search. The bottom line is whether you think you can handle and excel in a job in addition to your studies. Trust your gut if it tells you that that job would be too much to balance with the rest of your responsibilities. Just stick with the search- the perfect job is out there for you. You just have to find it! The final piece of advice I can impart is to try and get the most out of your part-time job experience! Be responsible by showing up on time and doing your job to the best of your abilities and make sure to not sacrifice your grades at school. But, also try to have some fun at your job! Befriend your coworkers and pick up some new skills while you’re at it! Good luck!
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