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Why a Part-Time Job in a Pandemic Can Push You Ahead

Putting off a part-time job because of the pandemic? It's actually the perfect time to get one.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

January 28, 2021

Why a Part-Time Job in a Pandemic Can Push You Ahead
Find out what it means for your future to land a part-time job right now.
Believe it or not, we are approaching the one-year anniversary of statewide shutdowns, mask mandates, and life without concerts, travel, and dining inside restaurants. Along with these more drastic measures, students have been operating under hybrid or virtual class schedules as well as scaled back – or cancelled – extracurricular activities. With that, students have found themselves with plenty of free time on their hands – and will likely continue to do so through the end of the school year. So, what should students do with all of this free time? As enticing as it sounds, students shouldn’t spend their free time binge-watching the entirety of Netflix’s catalogue or escaping the real world altogether via their PS5. In fact, it may be the perfect opportunity to find and work a part-time job.

Why should I get a part-time job?

There are multiple reasons why students should get a part-time job right now. First, you have a lot more free time on your hands than you used to. Why not do something productive to fill the gaps? Second, whether you’re applying to college, graduate schools, or your first full-time job, you can point back to this time and say you earned some work experience. Working in the midst of a pandemic will no doubt turn you into a flexible, dependable employee that can pivot with unexpected changes and step into handle tasks or projects when asked.
Third, the world really needs you right now. Life has changed dramatically, and we are still living in limbo. We need delivery drivers to bring us packages, our favorite carryout, and groceries. And we need more part-time workers stocking shelves and running store pick-up orders. By working a part-time job now, you’re doing your part to support your community, small businesses, and vulnerable population groups.

Where can I find part-time job opportunities?

There are a variety of resources to help you find the perfect, part-time, pandemic job. You can start your search right here on Fastweb. Our Part-Time Jobs channel provides you with the ability to search for part-time jobs based on your location. There, you’ll find jobs in your area as well as opportunities for remote work. In a post-pandemic world, you can even use this feature to find jobs around the holidays or over holiday break.
You can also find opportunities just by visiting stores in your area. If you’ve been to a grocery store or Target lately, you may have seen “Help Wanted” signs at the front entrance. Individuals in these environments are working overtime to stock shelves, check out guests safely, and prepare online pick-up orders. They need more help. If you’re in college, you can also check on your campus job board. With campuses adapting to the pandemic and students quarantining or opting to return to virtual learning off campus, there may be opportunities opening all of the time.

How should I prepare for a part-time job during a pandemic?

Preparing for a part-time job may look a little different these days. It’s not as simple as grabbing your uniform, car keys, and phone, and heading out the door. If you are working with other individuals, you need to have your Personal Protective Equipment, otherwise known as PPE. When working with others or making deliveries, you’ll need a mask. It’s best to keep a few masks in your car as well in the event that you forget to grab one as you walk out the door. You can opt for the best masks on the market, like an N95, or wear a cloth mask. Many retailers have pivoted in the last year to provide comfortable, cloth masks that you can wear all day. Just be sure to wash your cloth mask after each use. You may also want to wear disposable gloves or a face shield for extra protection. If you do find a remote job during the pandemic, there are a few must-haves for your new role. They include a reliable Internet and/or phone connection, a laptop with a camera for video calls, and a quiet space to work.

Pandemic Part-Time Jobs and Internships

Whether you pursue a part-time job or a remote internship during the pandemic, it will be time well spent. You will gain unprecedented work experience in these unprecedented times. Plus, you will impress admissions officers, scholarship committees, and future employers alike, with your tenacity and time management. As you work your job, take notes of the skill set and tasks you’ve been asked to do – or anything noteworthy for that matter. This will enable you to look back on your experience with clarity and actually speak to it accurately in future admissions, scholarship, or job interviews. Though it may be more difficult to get to know your managers and co-workers, you still need to work at it. These people are invaluable to your future job search because they serve as your recommendations. So make friends and do the type of work that people can speak highly of when they’re asked about you. If you want to wait until the summer to start your part-time job, it’s actually time to start searching now. Summer job opportunities fill up quickly, particularly the good jobs. Employers will often rehire from last year’s pool, making availability slim. If there is a job or company you’d like to work for, get in touch with them soon. Check out more summer job search advice here.

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