How to Balance Your Studies and Your Part-time Job

A lot of students work part-time to cover their costs while studying. Having a job is great experience for your future, but sometimes it can be a difficult balancing act. Here's some tips to help you out!

1. Be honest about what you can do

When you're at a job interview, be upfront and realistic about your availability. Be clear about how many hours you're able to work. Explain that you're currently studying and so are only able to work a certain amount of time. Use this to sell yourself to your prospective employer as someone who is skilled at balancing different parts of your life and good with time-management. 

2. Plan in advance

First off, get a diary. At the start of your semester, look at your schedule and think about the periods you have lots of hand-ins and exams. If you think you'll be too stressed, ask for time off work in plenty of advance. Make sure you set aside time to finish an essay or work on a presentation.

3. Try to agree set-shifts

Figure out how often you can feasibly work without your studies suffering. Whether it's one full day at weekends or a few shorter shifts to fit around your timetable. Working the same shifts every week makes it much easier to find a work/study balance. If you can't find a position like this, look for a job that gives you shifts in advance.

4. Remember your studies come first

Your part-time job is only supposed to facilitate your studies. Don't focus all your attention on working and not leave yourself enough time to complete your studies to the best to your ability. If you find your coursework sliding, look at reducing the hours you work. But be aware that this might not suit your employer.

5. Be aware of busy times

Taking on a seasonal role at Christmas can be good way of getting some work experience, but be aware that you'll probably be expected to work considerable hours. Make sure you've planned enough time for your exam preparation and any work that's due in December or January. Your employer will be relying on you to work. Phoning them the day before a shift to tell them you can't work because you've got an essay to finish will make you look irresponsible and you may even lose your job.

6. Try and get a job in your field of study

Not only can your part-time job can have short term benefits such as a source of income and the chance to meet new people, it can also have an impact on your long-term career. Why not look for positions in an industry you're looking to work in once you finish your studies? The work experience could come in handy when an employer is deciding between candidates with similar qualifications.

7. Save when you can

It's a great feeling when you've got a bit more money in your pocket to help with the costs of being a student. Save some of your wages when you're working more often to help subsidise times when you're busy with your studies and working less. Not having to worry about money when you're busy will be a weight off your mind whilst also installing good saving habits for when you're working full-time.

8. Appreciate the positives

You might not love your part-time job, so focus on what you get in exchange for working. Getting a regular wage should allow you to spend more money on the things you want. It's also a great place to learn new skills that will look great on your future CV. Lots of employers look for work experience as much as good qualifications. 

Remember, having  a part-time job is great experience, it gives you loads of transferable skills and shows you can multi-task. Go you!