So, you’re a college student looking for some extra cash—what else is new—but it’s difficult to juggle school, work, and, if you’re feeling ambitious, a social life. You can get frazzled and lose the energy to accomplish anything well when you’re trying to do everything. Never fear—despite all this, it can be (and is often) done. While it may not ever be relaxing, it can be engaging, educational, and (hey, what are we in this for, anyway?) profitable.
1. Goal Making
When working hard on something, it’s always important to keep a goal(or goals) in mind. This becomes even more important when you’re only part-time working hard on something. Are you a part-time worker, or a part-time student? Making that decision will help you prioritize your schedule and make decisions to help you achieve what you really want in the end. So, decide how much money you’re looking to make, how much time you’ll need to study, and other factors, keeping in mind both short-time end goals and how your decisions affect that.
This is the part where you really need to sit down and take a look at how much you can (or want) to squeeze into an inflexibly 24-hour day. Write out how much time you need to attend class, study, and sleep, in order to figure out where there’s room for a job. It’s also a good time to look ahead for any already-planned trips or absences, so you can ask for time off ahead of time. Once you have a job, try to stick to your schedule, so you don’t fall behind on anything.
3. The Right Job
Finding the right job is probably the biggest factor in the successfulness of your part-time work venture. As a college student, flexibility is going to be a big thing to look for. Jobs that can work around your schedule as much as you work around them are optimal, both for your comfort and your employer’s. The first place to look for a job should probably be your school: conveniently located, and very used to dealing with student schedules. You don’t need to limit yourself, though. Retail jobs, Restaurant jobs, anything that has shifts when you’re free, you should feel free to explore. Employers in college towns may be most understanding of student schedules.
College is getting more and more expensive, and students who can find part-time jobs are well advised to take them. While this can be a daunting prospect, it’s definitely doable if you’re willing to work hard and be smart about your schedule. Finding the right job for you is really important, so take the time to search for it. In the end, you’ll be rewarded not only with character-building experience and something to add to your resume, but cold, hard, cash. You will definitely have earned it.
Alice Kirkland is an advertising writer earning her ma in mass communication to further her career.