Jobs for Students – and How to Get Them
Whether you’re returning to high school, college, or university – or going into one of these for the first time – you’re probably pondering what you can do for some extra cash, especially if you just finished up a summer job. Will you actually have time to do well in school while working? If so, how many hours should you work per week? What sorts of jobs for students are out there? And how do you go about getting them?
Are jobs for students a good idea at all?
Before you start looking for a job this fall, consider whether it’s in your best interest to have one at all. Opinions on this subject vary greatly, sometimes depending on whether a student is in secondary or post-secondary education. Some believe that high school students should reserve working for the summer break because working during the school year can compromise their grades, thereby endangering their chances of getting into post-secondary institutions, particularly universities. But what about students already in college or university? Some argue that jobs for students at the post-secondary level can be beneficial because they greatly bolster the appeal of those students’ resumes after they graduate, illustrating for potential employers that they’ve achieved a certain level of professionalism along with valuable, transferable skills, including communication skills, interpersonal skills, organization and time management skills, and a client/customer-focused mindset.
However, it’s important to gauge just how much work you’re willing to take on. Some research indicates that students who take on more than 10 to 15 hours of work per week in university, for instance, are less likely to actually complete their degrees. Only you can assess how much you can successfully take on. Aim to strike a realistic balance between the time you need to study, time for a job, and time to enjoy student life. After all, your social life is important too, not just for your sense of wellbeing, but because who you know could lead to work opportunities in the future. You just never know.
What are the best jobs for students?
Once you’ve decided that you’re okay with getting a job while in school, you have to consider what kinds of jobs will be flexible enough to fit into your schedule. It goes without saying that they will be part-time, but even part-time jobs can vary vastly in how demanding they are. Some part-time jobs require up to 30 hours per week – definitely more than a student should be considering. The following is a short list of tried, tested, and true jobs for students:
If you have the grades to prove you’re excellent in a certain subject, then pin flyers to bulletin boards and phone polls all around campus. If your school has a virtual bulletin board for students, that’s even better. As a tutor, you can negotiate scheduling, pay rates, and build clientele for yourself.
Tutoring isn’t the only freelancing option for students. Perhaps you’re a talented graphic designer, web developer, or writer. If so, why not hire yourself out to do what you love? And especially if it pertains to your studies. That way, you’ll have a head start on your peers coming out of school.
Office assistants perform a range of organizational and administrative duties, including filing, mailing, stocking supplies, maintaining equipment, serving customers, and more. Office assistants are usually only required a couple of times a week, meaning they should easily fit into a student’s lifestyle. In turn, you learn firsthand how offices operate behind the scenes, from how often you need to replace toner, to the role office politics plays in productivity.
Retail roles are also amongst the most common part-time jobs for students. The retail world can teach you many things about handling cash, customer service, and sales. Each of these skills is highly transferable because they require responsibility, accountability, professionalism, and business acumen.
Use bulletin boards – physical and virtual – and offer to look after the things people love the most so that they can get enjoy some me time. Of course, because these things are so precious, many people aren’t too keen on taking a chance on a stranger. That’s why it’s probably best to start with a family friend and build your reputation from there.
How do you find all these jobs for students?
Jobs for students can be found virtually anywhere. Many colleges and universities have online job boards accessible to every student. However, these sites typically focus on on-campus jobs. Plus, they don’t necessarily capture all the opportunities available. Keep your ears open should a professor mention that they’re looking for help grading students’ assignments or proofreading their latest research article.
Traditional job boards can help with off-campus jobs, but remember that for certain roles, like those in retail, it’s still a good idea to drop by, dressed well, with a hard copy of your resume and ask to briefly speak with a manager. Since success as a salesperson relies so heavily on how you carry yourself and interact with people, actually being there allows the manager to immediately assess your interpersonal skills and poise. For most jobs, you submit a resume and then wait to see if you’re called for an interview; in this case, you may walk out of the store with your first shift already scheduled.