Why work part-time while studying?

There are a number of benefits of doing part-time work while you are a student. It can have a positive impact on your life both now and when looking for permanent work after graduation. Three benefits stand out.


Extra funds/money to help with living costs.

Obvious as it is, a part-time job is an effective way to earn extra money. Some roles will be paid at the National Minimum Wage, but some can be much higher. It will certainly help with your living costs, particularly if you’re having trouble making your student loan stretch throughout term. Extra cash can also open opportunities for socialising, travel and fun.


Life experience

A part-time job can open a new world for you in addition to your university studies. It doesn’t have to take over your life.  It can be something you enjoy as a break from academic work. It can provide opportunities for you to gain new life experiences, for example trying new things and meeting new people. It provides a platform for you to network, build social connections and form professional relationships – particularly valuable if you’re planning to continue living in the area after graduation. You may become friends with your colleagues, or sometimes even customers, for life.

Earning money can at times be challenging, but through this you can build resilience – an important factor in your future success. You will also gain experience of taking charge of your finances in a proactive way and establishing ways to manage your finances for your future.

Another great benefit is the independence gained through part-time jobs and taking responsibility for your own life. You may become a better planner or develop the ability to organise and prioritise what you value in life. You may also improve your ability to manage time effectively, which is another important skill that you can apply to your studies and to life after university.


Work experience and employability

Part-time work offers you a glimpse into the working world. You can use your part-time job to understand and get experience of an industry or a career you’re interested in.

Work experience also helps you to develop and widen the kind of transferable skills that are in demand by graduate employers, such as self-management, working with others, communication skills and being able to face a challenge and solve your own problems. By exposing yourself to a commercial environment, you can also gain customer and business awareness – both of which are highly valued by employers.

Finally, part-time work experience provides evidence you can use on your CV and job applications to sell yourself and attract employers. Having another string to your bow will help you to stand out from the crowd when it comes to job applications and interviews.


What’s next?

If you’re keen to take this further, you may want to think about the following questions:

  • Am I eligible to work in the UK?
  • What is my purpose in finding a part-time job?
  • What employer locations can I get to? What are the costs, travel time and working hours?
  • When am I available for work? What are my university timetable and other commitments?
  • Where will I find part-time job vacancies?
  • What do I need to prepare? What are my skills? Do I have an appropriate CV and cover letter?
  • What else do I need to know – tax, National Insurance, employment rights?


Having a part job does mean you have to squeeze one more thing into your schedule, but stay organised and you will be able to balance the things you want to do and enrich the time you spend at university. Good luck!

Xiujuan Wang

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