Student News

Finding the Right Type of Part-Time Job

Getting the right job for you can lead to big advantages.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

December 29, 2019

Finding the Right Type of Part-Time Job
While finding your first, full-time job after graduation can oftentimes be the hardest job search, it’s not necessarily the trickiest to manage. That honor goes to the part-time job search. When trying to find the right part-time job, there are multiple factors to consider: How will this fit into my school and extracurricular schedule? Is this job just about money for me? Or is it about starting my career? Do I have the personality to be successful in this job? What can I expect from my job besides a paycheck? As you can see, a part-time job isn’t just a take-it-or-leave-it opportunity. It has the ability to impact the rest of your life, whether it may seem that way at first or not. A part-time job is oftentimes the foundation of a person’s career. With that, there are quite a few things to consider as you search for the perfect part-time job. Though you need to contemplate basics like hours and pay, you also need to reflect on which type of job suits your personality as well as which opportunities have the potential to make a meaningful, lasting impact in your life. Take a look:
1. Hours and Scheduling
As you consider a part-time job, think of all the commitments you’ll have to balance: school hours, homework and extracurricular activities. A part-time job that requires you to work afternoons may not be suited to an athlete or thespian, someone that has rehearsals or practices right after school. However, a part-time job that allows you to work evenings and weekends may be better. For any student, flexibility in a part-time job is crucial. Look for an opportunity that allows you to change your hours from week to week, depending on what your schedule looks like. It’s also beneficial to talk to your potential employer about scaling back on hours around the end of the semester and finals as you’ll need more time to prepare for exams and research papers. The best time to bring up your schedule is during the job interview. As you meet with hiring managers, explain your situation as a student, have a detailed schedule prepared as well as whether or not you will need time off during finals or the holiday weeks if you’re traveling home.
2. Know Your Personality
The right type of part-time job will prepare you for the working world by imparting necessary skills and pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone. However, it’s also imperative for you to know your limitations going into the part-time job search. If you are the total opposite of a people-person, you may want to shy away from customer service opportunities. Behind-the-scenes jobs will allow you to play to your strengths without jeopardizing your job. If you love face-to-face interactions, opt for those positions that will allow you to better develop your skills. Again, though, it’s also important to allow your part-time job to stretch you in certain ways for professional and personal development. If you need to discover which type of job best fits your personality, look for free career assessments. Monster.com provides a list of multiple places that you can take these types of tests. They will not only reveal your personality and working style, but they can also shed light on those characteristics that you can highlight to market yourself as you search for a part-time job.
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3. Salary and Benefits
As you prepare for the part-time job search, it may be helpful to list your financial job goals. What is your ideal salary? Would you compromise on your salary goals for better part-time benefits? What part-time benefits matter most to you? Part-time jobs these days are so much more than jobs. They oftentimes come with benefits packages, like health, dental and even tuition assistance. Take an assessment of what you need form a financial and benefit standpoint to determine which opportunities you should chase. Also, research companies that provide these benefits for part-time employees and start your part-time job search there. For instance, a high school student may be on their parents’ health insurance, but as they approach their college years, tuition assistance can be very enticing. A college student, however, will definitely want to seize on any tuition assistance benefits but may also require insurance if they are no longer on a parent or guardian’s plan.
4. Promotion and Work Opportunities after Graduation
Finally, a part-time job may just be a part-time job to get by for a few months or years. However, you should also look at it as a potential full-time opportunity after graduation. As you interview for part-time jobs, ask about advancement at a company. Are there opportunities locally? Or is there potential to work for corporate after graduation? It’s also not entirely uncommon for high school students to work their way to managerial positions at their part-time jobs. Years of part-time work can result in a part-time job promotion, which means a better salary and work benefits. Additionally, a promotion like that can speak volumes on the resume of a recent college graduate. Essentially, a part-time job is much more than a paycheck – though that may be how it begins. As you search for the right type of part-time job, take the time to consider a few things, like opportunities for growth, development and advancement.
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