Everyone knows the poor, starving student stereotype. The stereotype that warrants students to live frugally and thriftily and gives us an excuse to guilt trip our parents into giving us money. We’ve all been there. However, in case you wanted an income that involves you earning a bit of extra cash in exchange for some labour, look no further than a student-friendly job.
Having worked for a busy clothing retailer for the best part of two years through my last year of sixth form and first year of university, I can vouch for the incredible feeling of being paid for doing what is essentially a very easy, simple job for 12 hours a week. Pros of retail include employee bonuses and benefits, discounts, constantly being around new people and a good employee rights system which is hot on offering the appropriate wage, hours and pastoral care. The downsides to retail are probably the fast-paced nature of the job and the inflexibility of hours and holidays that might mean you cannot go home over holiday periods and have to spend late nights and long weekends tidying the same table of jeans fifty times over.
OFFICE WORK / ADMIN / RECEPTIONIST
If you’re lucky, you could get a job that works around your uni timetable that also neatly wraps up at 5pm every day and is closed on the weekend. I have a job like this now working two days a week when I don’t have anything on my uni timetable, so it is worth looking out for something like this, especially if hours are flexible.
BARWORK / NIGHTCLUBS
Perhaps not for everybody, but what beats getting paid for what is essentially a night out? Plenty of students at our university work at Jesters and I have it on good authority that it is a very fun place to work. Pros include discounted entry, staff drinks and hours that won’t get in the way of any day time commitments, as well as drunk people watching which is always hilarious when you’re more or less sober. Even if you don’t want to work in the club, try out club promoting for a few extra quid!
STUDENT UNION / UNIVERSITY AFFILIATED JOBS
This is a fantastic way of contributing to the university as well as earning some easy money with no strings attached. There are quite a lot of ways you can work for the university, whether that be on a 0-hour contract working behind the desks at the Union café, shop or lettings block, or offering your services at open days as student ambassadors and helpers. These are always advertised on the Union website.
PAID SUMMER INTERNSHIPS
This sector is invaluable during your university experience. Most graduate employers will be impressed by a student who has completed a paid internship in any sector, especially if relevant to subsequent career progressions post-graduation. This is the best way to gain experience that will help your employability as well as earning money to put away for yourself. On the flipside, paid internships can often be intense and you will have to work hard, but it pays off in the end when you have a healthy bank account and work experience for your CV.
It is worth remembering also that even if you don’t need a job, it is good to show you have experience doing something that requires a commitment to working to set time constraints and gives you skills outside of your degree, before you enter the real job market…!