Coming into university, we all heard the woeful tale of the broke college student, and now many of us currently live this reality. Without weekly allowances from mom and dad and home cooked meals to divulge in after school, we have to budget limited funds among cell phone bills, monthly rent and that Taco Bell we picked up last night because we couldn’t afford another trip to Giant to restock our empty fridge.
Applying for a part time job easily solves this issue. Although applying for a job may have many benefits, it may have additional drawbacks. Just remember to find the right balance between work and academics.
Check out these few pros and cons to working part-time as a college student.
1. Endless Job Opportunities
In a college town such as State College, Pennsylvania, you don’t have to search too hard to find a place to work. New positions open up often, ranging from local shops and bookstores downtown to on-campus dining halls, mailrooms, information desks in the student union center and many more. When choosing to work downtown or on campus, you should take into consideration a few factors, as both options come with their own set of circumstances.
Many of the retail stores, particularly fashion shops, downtown offer discounts to student employees. While this may serve as a great incentive, these stores don’t offer the same schedule flexibility that on-campus positions do.
When working on-campus jobs, students have more leeway in determining the hours that they work. Because the university considers student-employees primarily as students first, they tolerate schedule conflicts more often, allowing workers to make up hours when they can. In addition to this, certain positions, such as dining hall facilities, offer discounts as well, but this does not apply to every campus job.
2. The Importance of Time Management
While working a part-time job, whether located on campus or not, you must have excellent time management. Limited schedules may serves as a drawback to working in college, as our schedules already contain hours of extracurricular activities. Adding a job into the mix can certainly make things a lot more complicated.
Students may also become overwhelmed manage grades, sorority or fraternity service hours and job shifts all at the same time. If you find yourself falling behind in certain areas due to work, you have to prioritize what you consider most important.
Keep in mind that your school work should always come first in college. So, if the extra cash doesn’t exceed your other priorities,and your job negatively impacts your studies, feel free to let it go.
3. Resume Building and Networking
Managing a part-time job on top of additional responsibilities proves a good skill set that you can show off to potential employers. Even if your job doesn’t exactly pertain to your major, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to make connections with others and strengthen your customer service skills.
You may also build relationships with many of your coworkers. These connections can lead to other opportunities, such as internships and common interest clubs.
Despite popular belief, you can find networking opportunities even in non professional positions. Working a side job can always prove beneficial to opening doors for better possibilities down the road.
4. Money Money Money
The weekly paycheck, the result of hours of hard work, serves as the most obvious benefit to working part-time. Although you won’t earn a full-time salary, the extra money can always come in handy.
As soon as the money rolls in you might feel tempted to scoop into those funds that you promised to set-aside for monthly utility bills. It doesn’t take very long to realize that $10 an hour goes a whole lot faster than you expected it to.
While having a part-time job can provide additional finances, you must think wisely about your spending habits. Those weekend trips to the bar and late-night fast food runs will surely drain your account balance, so ensure that you budget your money well by setting aside savings for the most important things first.
5. Responsibility: the First Lesson of Adulting
Having a job during your college years serves as the ultimate way to showcase responsibility. It feels great to pay for your own expenses without having to depend on your parents for money.
Because of this, you should consider picking up a part-time job at least once, even if not as a necessity. Whether you able to work five hours or fifteen, remember the importance of your willingness to put in the effort and take responsibility for the money that you spend.
After working for a while, you’ll begin to realize the worth of a dollar, and in turn, you learn to appreciate many of the sacrifices that your parents put in to get you to where you sit today.