March 14, 2023, by aayar4
How To Find a Student Job That Works for You
By Amaia Robertson Nogues, American Studies and English student
We all know that it can be tricky to balance a university workload as well as part-time jobs. However, they are a great opportunity to give your CV a boost whilst also earning some extra cash. With countless obscure work listings and nightclub ambassadors waving leaflets in your face, here are some things to consider when first tackling the part-time job market.
1. Visualise what you want from part-time work
It is important to consider what exactly you want from a student job. Are you more concerned with securing some extra income or finding work experience in a particular field? Do you want term-time only work or a vacation job? Do you prefer consistency or require a flexible schedule? If you’re pushed for time, zero hour contracts or volunteering are usually more adaptable.
2. Planning ahead
Think realistically: if you have found a role that appeals to you, can you maintain this position all year? Some roles are project based and may require consistent attendance at meetings, so don’t commit to something that you cannot guarantee will work for you in the long run. If you’re working off-campus, consider if you have enough time to commute. You don’t want to be rushing around due to a poorly timed bus schedule, so make sure you have plenty of time to get where you need to be.
If you need to be in online meetings or interviews whilst on campus, think about your surroundings. Do you need a private room? A handy plug? Suitable spots can fill up fast on campus, so make sure to think ahead.
3. Consider jobs specifically catered to students
Looking at jobs advertised directly through the university is a great way to do this, and managers should be used to working with students’ schedules. There are roles available on MyCareer, Unitemps, as well as department specific projects posted on social media. Make sure to follow your department’s social media pages to stay in the loop! Faculty websites can also be useful to scope out any new opportunities. On-campus researchers are always on the lookout for short-term participants – for instance CeDEx run experiments year-round.
Unitemps is a great resource to find part-time work. Keep an eye out for positions posted by the university, as these typically have the most flexible working hours and are designed with student applicants in mind. Other campus-based companies (e.g. Lakeside Arts Centre, Spar, Boots, Costa) are also a good option and typically have very student-friendly positions. Ambassador roles are also great for short-term work and are a chance to get involved with the community!
4. Discuss your position early
Even if your CV has the University of Nottingham plastered all over it (and rightly so!) make sure you highlight your position as a student during the application process. Whether that be during an interview or in a cover letter, make sure the company knows that your studies are a priority. Whilst it might be tempting to say that your schedule is super flexible and you’re available to work any shifts, it is important to be realistic. Be honest! This makes things easier down the line and helps you manage your time more effectively.
5. Recognise your limits
If something isn’t working out, don’t struggle in silence. Recognising your limits and when you might need help managing your time is a very valuable skill. If you’re feeling like you have too much on your plate, speak to your manger. Tell them your situation and how you need to prioritise your wellbeing and your studies. Remember, if you want some extra support or advice, the Careers team is here to help.
Overall, working alongside your studies is a great way to improve your career prospects after graduation and to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
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