November 3, 2022, by Leah Sharpe
How Part-Time Work Can Offer More Than Just Money in Your Pocket
By Georgia Lee, MSc Psychology Conversion student
If I asked you right now, ‘what would be your main reason for getting a part-time job?’, I bet you would most likely say for the money. As a recent History graduate and now current MSc Psychology student I can’t deny that I would say exactly the same thing.
Whilst earning money is incredibly important in order to finance studies and generally afford to live at university (especially as the cost of living has skyrocketed). Part-time work has so many unspoken and underrated benefits.
I recently started to work weekend shifts at a diner in town and despite the benefits of pay, free food and drink on shift and meeting incredible co-workers, it has equipped me with numerous skills to help me in my future career as well as to generally help me grow as a person.
At the top of my list, people skills has to be the greatest takeaway from working part-time in a customer facing place of work. I don’t think it can be stressed enough how important this is as you look towards your future career goals. I have become extremely comfortable talking to a wide range of people and have grown to feel confident striking up conversations with both new and regular customers. You really see the positive effect you have when putting in the extra effort to get to know people and simply asking about their day. It’s also such an asset to be able to deal with difficult customers and to learn to have patience in such situations. This can translate to so many everyday situations especially within the workplace such as working with colleagues you may not see eye-to-eye with.
Working under pressure and multitasking
It goes without saying that having a part-time job, especially within customer facing roles, can be incredibly demanding and stressful at times. (I like to call it a love-hate relationship). However, through working very busy shifts and having to deal with several different tasks at the same time, I have learnt to stay calm under pressure and to remain resilient when the going gets tough. To be able to step up and remain focused when facing challenging situations is such an impressive skill to have. In my opinion, the ability to remain motivated will put you a level above others whether that be regarding academic work, applying for grad schemes or in attaining your career goals.
Being proactive and taking initiative
The other major skill I would highlight is proactivity. Being able to take the initiative and use common sense to help things run smoothly is an incredibly valuable ability to have. For example, at the diner there would usually be three front of house staff, however currently there’s only two. This has meant regular planning ahead and preparing in advance. This has improved my organisational skills and has pushed me to make time for other important tasks such as spending time on career planning.
I truly believe just from the few months I have been working at the diner, that I have really come into my own as a person. It has substantially boosted my confidence and self-belief and also contributes experience to include on my CV or to refer to when answering interview questions.
So, whether you currently have a part time job or need a little extra convincing to get one, make sure to remember how to really make the most out of this experience.
Explore the Careers website for further information on finding part-time work and reflecting on your experiences for job applications.
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