Working during your studies- The dos and don’ts

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Many of us who have struggled through University know how hard it is to reconcile studies with work, especially when we are compelled by financial reasons or in order to gain valuable work experience that will serve us in future when we enter the workplace.

Some students may not need to work because they either rely on their parents for support, on student loans, or because they have earned a scholarship that will put them through their study program and some universities actually do not allow you to work during your studies. However for those students who either have to, or want to work whist studying, here are some tips on how to find a good balance between work and study and some of the things you avoid doing.

Do- Be sure to find a job that offers flexible or part-time hours. Be clear from the offset the hours you are and aren’t available to work. Of course seminars, lectures and exam times can change from semester to semester, so be sure to be clear that there may be specific times and dates when you cannot work. 

Don’t- Don’t be pressured into increasing your hours unless you are able to keep up with all your uni work, and any other commitments you have during term time. Remember this job is just to help you out during your studies- the main focus should be your degrees and, of course, your happiness during your time at university.

Do- Use the Internet to help with your job search. If you’re new to the city be sure to know exactly how fare you are willing to travel, then use a reliable jobsite like Jobrapido to filter your search and find job vacancies to suit your own situation. You don’t want to work so far away that even if you finish early, you still get home too late to do your assignments. 

Don’t- Forget to schedule in sleeping time. Agreeing to work all night after a full day of university and coursework is a sure track way to burn yourself out very quickly. Of course jobs like bar work and PR might mean some long and late nights, but be sure that you work these shifts on the days that you don’t have to be up first thing the following morning. 

Do- Use Social Media like Twitter (and Facebook or LinkedIn). They are some of the best tools to connect with potential employers who—just like Presidents and CEOs—use them widely to find job seekers as well as interact with employees, clients and customers. These days a lot of businesses rely heavily on their online presence and visibility- you should do the same.  

Don’t- Spend all your wages straight away. Student loans disappear quickly, and if you’re able to earn a little extra money, of course you are going to treat yourself from time to time. However, be sure to keep a little aside for emergencies, or just to be sure when something really good does crop up, you have enough to afford it. There’s nothing worse than working hard and still finding yourself skint at the end of the month.

Do- Set up a weekly calendar or study schedule and try to get a jump-start on your studies, as well as reconcile workdays with your studies (and your time off to enjoy University life like we all should!). Remember also to work out a monthly budget so you can keep track of your expenses, and figure out how much part-time work and weekly hours you really need so that you don’t overcompensate.

Although working during university is not for everyone, work experience can really open many doors when you leave with your degree, and is definitely doable as long as your grades – and your health- do not suffer.

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