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May 30, 2023, by Aisia Lea

Balancing a Job Whilst at University

When you’re at university, you may be faced with an extremely busy course. You may have heard people say that having a job at university just isn’t possible – it’s too hard, there’s no time, you just can’t do it.

I’m here to tell you that isn’t true. These misconceptions are damaging to hear, especially for students who may come from a lower-income background. The prospect of not being able to work to support yourself while studying may actually put some people off from applying to university. However, having a job while at university may not always be easy, so this blog post is here to give you all of the top tips and tricks to having a job whilst at university.


“Will the University let me have a job?”

The university recommends that if you are undertaking a part-time job alongside your studies that you limit the amount you work so that you’re not overworking yourself or at risk of burnout. If you do feel as though you’ve taken on too much work, speak to the welfare services or your personal tutor.


“What’s the best part-time job to get?”

There are lots of different options for part-time jobs, it’s just about finding the one that works best for you and your schedule. You may want to work on a zero-hour or fixed-hour contract in a supermarket, restaurant, retail store or bar. This is beneficial if you want a fixed income and to know how much you’re working each week.

Another option that many students do whilst at university is tutoring, and you can do this in a number of ways. You may want to set up your own tutoring business on an app like NextDoor or on Facebook to connect with parents around your hometown. This is a great way to tutor as you can set your own wages and will likely make more hourly than you would in a typical retail job. You can also tutor online through different tutoring sites such as MyTutor. MyTutor is good because you have the opportunity to pick up whole slots of lessons which allows you to plan your time. However, while you may make more per hour tutoring, it’s important to remember that you likely won’t have much work over the summer and the amount of lessons you do may change from week to week, affecting your income.

You can also always look on the university’s UniTemps page – this provides temporary jobs for students. These opportunities are great as you may be able to conduct projects at the university and enhance your CV all whilst getting paid for it. Another benefit is that employers are usually fine with the fact that you may be limited in your hours due to university commitments.


“Where can I find a job?”

Like I’ve already mentioned, you can sign up to MyTutor or Unitemps and begin searching for a job. Indeed is another great place to find some part-time work.


“Great! I’ve got a job, but how do I balance it alongside my studies?”

I really advocate for having a job that is flexible around you, so things like tutoring or university work that you can do remotely or as a hybrid. However, if you have a fixed contract, you know exactly how much you’ll be working to plan around that.

My main advice would be to start small and work your way up to more hours as you get more comfortable. It’s also important to manage your time well (see our dedicated blog post to this on our website). You can do this by having a diary or online calendar where you plan all of your commitments and can see them at a glance. Make sure that you are leaving ample time for your university commitments and that you aren’t overworking yourself.

Always remember that you can cut back! Your mental health and your studies should be the priority. If you find that you’re doing too many hours or that your work lifestyle is not sustainable, there is nothing wrong with reaching out for help or support.

Posted in #WeAreUoNAisia