Nov 27

Everything you need to know about getting a student job

With maintenance grants being scrapped, the loans available shrinking, and accommodation prices rising along with the cost of living, students are struggling to budget as the austere 2010s rumble on.

Getting a student job is an increasingly attractive option, and there are plenty of options available to you:

What can I do?

Everything you need to know about getting a student jobThe most common jobs for students include working in bars, pubs, restaurants, and shops. These are often advertised online but also look for adverts in shop windows on the high street. Take a CV and cover letter into the place in person and be alert, just in case you see the manager and have the chance to make a good impression even before you’re invited to interview.

Seasonal work can fit into your holidays, such as summer jobs (especially in tourism and the summer sales) and work at Christmas as shops take on extra staff to deal with the rush. If you impress, these places may bear you in mind for more work next season, or a full-time job once you’ve finished and need a proper wage.

Local bars and clubs often hire students, even if it’s just as glass-collectors. They will be used to their employees needing to be flexible and take time off around exams, and (hopefully!) be more cooperative if you need to sort your hours out. You can get to know the local scene and hear where other jobs might be coming up, and if you can deal with rowdy bar customers you might be stellar in the boardroom later on!

The students’ union may be the best option for this kind of job. As an employer you can’t get one more understanding of the demands of student life, and the hours are flexible and not excessive. Usually you can sign up for shifts when you’re free, so work won’t clash with deadlines or *cough* important parties *cough*.

Finally, you could be a campus brand ambassador. You’ll work on specific campaigns, promoting a particular brand by dispensing freebies and giving people information, selling them the brand. This is flexible part-time work with big employers and the opportunity to gain some teamwork experience. OnCampus Promotions offers this kind of work, and you should check the websites of individual companies like EY, Red Bull or the i.

Just be careful where you apply! There are some odd and ridiculous jobs out there.


Do you have the time?

Everything you need to know about getting a student jobBefore you jump onto jobsites and start searching, think carefully about the commitment of taking on a part-time job. Don’t be fooled if you find yourself with few contact hours, as you will still be expected to spend a great deal of time studying independently, preparing for seminars and completing coursework. Work out how much time you’re expected to spend on this and look for a job that won’t take up your study time.

You should also look for flexible hours. If you have a crucial deadline coming up, it will be extremely useful if you can swap shifts and take days off to get it done (often you may be able to work in lieu after the hand-in date).

Look for jobs that you can easily get to, whether you walk, use public transport or drive. Your degree is not the time for a long commute, unless you can get your seminar reading or lab reports done en route – and the money makes it worth it.


How will a student job help you?

Everything you need to know about getting a student jobThe benefits of taking up a student job go much further than earning money, of course. If you work in a bar or restaurant or in retail, the skills you gain will transfer to most graduate jobs. Interacting face-to-face with the public improves you communication skills, as does answering the phone and dealing with complaints. You’ll develop commercial awareness.

You may have a fair bit of problem-solving to do, which will become very useful, and have to adapt to new ways of working and dealing with people, which enhances your interpersonal skills. Whichever job you find yourself in, you will quickly get better at time management as you balance your work with coursework and socialising, and gain experience of working within a team.


What about self-employment?

Everything you need to know about getting a student jobOne of the most flexible ways of working is, of course, working for yourself. Using your skills to make money keeps everything on your terms, and you only need to take on as much as you can handle. Try private tutoring – advertise locally and look through resources online for advice and teaching material.

If you play an instrument, you could offer lessons, and advertise your talents for weddings and other events. It is very satisfying earning money doing something you already know and enjoy.

If money isn’t an issue, or you aren’t able to take on the commitment of a job at the moment, volunteering is another good way of gaining work experience, and may lead onto a job or help you get one once you’ve graduated. Look for local one-off projects or a short-term weekly commitment. If you live near a theatre or arts centre, they may hire volunteer stewards to collect tickets and sell merchandise, in return for getting to see the performance. This is a way to get your cultural fix for free, and some may even offer occasional paid shifts.

Working as a student will set you in good stead for your career, equipping you with transferable skills and valuable life experience. There are plenty of ways to make money while you learn, even if it’s only outside term time, so it’s worth considering what you could do.

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2 thoughts on Everything you need to know about getting a student job

  1. Dear Jasmine/Team, using my middle name I have posted this comment

    I am interested in earning whilst at university and would like to know the estimated potential earnings of a:

    1. Tarot and Divination Practitioner.
    2. Mobile Massage or Holistic Therapist.

    Mobile Massage/Holistic Therapist

    If there is anyone at university studying a degree or doing a foundation degree/Higher Diploma at college who is working in this area and can give further insights about this topic on Mobile Massage/Holistic Therapist, please feel free to make a comment about your personal observation,1. earnings, 2.trends as in popular specialties and 3. your degree/ course being studied.

    Tarot and Divination Practitioner:

    I have noticed that more and more university students studying degrees, masters and even phd’s are now learning and offering Tarot and other divination readings services.

    These were the Degrees I have noted as being studied, the majority asked were doing higher level degrees.

    Comparative English Language studies
    Psychotherapy and counselling

    Popular divination Services being offered:

    Tarot, Angel Oracles, Oracle cards, Rune, Ogham, Astrology,Lenormand, Numerology, Dream Analysis, Geomancy and I Ching.

    In trend Buzz words:

    In: Intuitive, Spiritual Coach Cartomancy and Lenormand Out: Psychic and Fortune Telling

    In Tread Services:

    Tarot, Angel Oracle, Oracles,Holistic readings

    Up and coming again, getting really hot Cartomancy.

    German, French and Italian Cartomancy, Kipper, Lenormand, Every day Oracle also known as Vera Sibilla.

    Niche Markets:

    Research the market don’t be tempered to jump on the band wagon, try and avoid going for the next shiny new thing. If that thing is a course say titling you as Tarot Master this may well resonate with you. But think will it improve your skill-set or increase your income or will it do no more than massage your ego and relieve you of your income. I know there are students earning a lot of money through doing Skype, e-mail and face to face readings but they may have been doing readings for years. The majority of others I suspect will earn a lot less, in my area readings are offered for between £25 and £50. Whereas this sounds good, if you are only attracting clients a couple of times a month is that so good? You could earn more working in a standard part-time Job, which is more reliable. So I decided to seek outside help because of the need of an objective view I came to this site.

    If there is anyone at university studying a degree or doing a foundation degree/Higher Diploma at college who is working in this area and can give further insights about this topic on Tarot and Divination Practitioner, please feel free to make a comment about your personal observation,1. earnings, 2.trends as in popular specialties and 3. your degree/ course being studied.

    1. A really good question here…with a lot of information at the same time! Thank you.

      If I’m honest, I am not a fan of, or in any way a believer in, Tarot so my feeling about it is that you might as well learn to do it online (there are LOADS of websites offering courses and, of course, Youtube videos showing you how to do it).

      It doesn’t have to cost much to get the bits and pieces you need – i.e. cards – but you can probably make it more authentic-looking for clients if you have some other props such as candles, mystic-looking furnishings and the like.

      Really, the amount you make depends on how many readings you can do.

      Massage is harder to make money from because a) you really need to do a proper course of some sort in order to practice and that will cost, b) ideally you need equipment which also costs (you can do it without but it’s better if you at least have a special chair people can sit in) and c) there are already a lot of masseurs around so you might have too much competition.

      However, if you already have some experience and maybe even a qualification (take a look at if you don’t have one and would like to do a short course) then you could advertise your services around college and in the town you live in perhaps for in-work or in-office massage sessions. That sort of thing would work well as you could charge a low rate (maybe just £5 per person if you get to do neck and shoulder massage for a whole office) and there’s no confusion as to what sort of massage you are doing!

      If you have an interest in this kind of thing, though, it’s definitely worth pursuing as it’s the kind of skill you can use anywhere and at any time. Later on you could do part-time massage therapy to boost your income here and there…maybe do office visits, home visits or work part-time in a spa. In a proper spa costs for a massage can be anything from £25 to £250 depending on where it is and what oils or other special things they do. For someone new, going into offices or the college library, though, I think £5-15 per session/hour would probably be acceptable.

      To start off, you’re probably best charging £10 per reading or even less if you are a real newbie. You need to get word-of-mouth advertising going and offering readings for cheap to start off with will help. After you get a name you can start charging between £15-35 a go and even up to £50 per reading if you get very popular (and write books about it to give yourself more of a name).

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