A large number of students need to earn cash to support themselves during their degrees. As long as it doesn’t take too much time away from your studies, finding a part-time job can be a great idea to gain more money, lower your debt and add skills to your CV.
A 2013 study by the National Union of Students and Endsleigh Insurance found that 57% of students hold down a part-time job while at university, with nine out of 10 of employed for up to 20 hours per week.
However, the majority of universities recommend that students only take on a maximum of between 10 and 15 hours’ employment a week during term time.
So before you rush off and accept the first job you can get your hands on, it’s important to decide whether you need part-time work, and how much you should earn from it.
Check out all your options
As a student, you can obtain funding from grants, bursaries and student loans – and, if needs be, the bank of mum and dad. Be sure to apply for any grants you can, as these will substantially help you throughout the year.
The best way to balance work and study with the rest of your life is to be brutal when organising your time so your priorities aren’t neglected.
Try to have a structured work pattern so you know what you can do and when, and don’t agree to work at a time when you have lectures or tutorials timetabled.
Make sure you know the important dates in your course calendar, such as assignment deadlines and when your exams are, so that you can easily see your busy periods and plan accordingly.
If you can, find a job that is in some way applicable to your course or your future career plans. You may be able to find work carrying out admin tasks in a local surveying firm, for example.
Find time to relax
There are only 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week, and you need time to unwind and relax. In the end, your health is the most important thing.
If juggling your studies and part-time work does become too overwhelming, don’t panic. Your studies must ultimately take precedence.
Talking to your lecturers and your employer as soon as you come across any problems is always the best course of action; they’re much more likely to be understanding if you speak with them as soon as you can.