*GUEST BLOG from James Patterson, Master’s degree student at University of Lancaster*
It’s a great idea to get a part-time job when you’re a student in university. Now you’ve got through the first term of your academic year, you should be used to your daily and weekly routine, and feel fairly comfortable with your daily life. Yet you know that there are many months left of the university year, and that ultimately means lots of things to buy and pay for.
With Christmas just passed, you may be feeling a bit more skint than usual. So, perhaps a part time job might be the right avenue to go down.
Here are just a few reasons why it could make a good fit for you:
Can live a fairly normal life
Nobody likes to have to give up things like nice food and clothes, especially students who want to experience life to the full. So rather than settling for tins of beans every night, doing a few shifts a week at a shop or a pub will allow you to live a relatively normal existence. The extra cash will also mean you are spending your own cash, rather than paying for things on your credit card or through your overdraft. It could take ages to pay these off in the future which can be more stress added to your plate.
Don’t be a spoil sport
There are a lot of social events when you are at university, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on these because you don’t have enough cash. So rather than moaning about not being able to go out because you can’t afford it – go out and do a couple of shifts a week in order to earn your deserved fun! You’ll find it much more rewarding spending money when you know you’ve been working on the checkouts for hours. There are many retail temp jobs out there right now so you could pick something that advertises the amount of hours you’re looking to do; have a look at www.retailchoice.com for a great mix of such opportunities.
Get into a routine
Another really good reason to get a part-time temp job is to start getting yourself into a routine. You’ll need to do this to get the best out of your degree; you waste half of the day when you wake up after lunchtime. You will surely have lectures and seminars that take place in the morning, so by getting into a routine you’ll be much more awake to take proper notes and follow what is being said. Oh, and you’ll need to be timely when it comes to future employment once you finish your degree!
Work experience for your CV
Finally, a retail job at your local shopping centre or department store can actually work wonders for your CV when you come to graduate. It shows employers that you have had experience handling customer queries, working in a team and handling cash which shows you can be trusted. It also allows you to write your manager’s name down as a reference which will be important too. And you never know – you might even be offered the chance to stay at the job past your temporary contract which would give you even more experience for your CV!
James Patterson is currently studying for a Masters degree at the University of Lancaster in the United Kingdom, and has been through all of the highs and lows that come with being restricted to a small budget. He now provides advice to undergraduates on how to survive the tough financial demands that come with spending three years or more at University. He has faced all this himself so it is on this first hand experience that he writes.