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Getting a Job as a Student: The Why and How

Getting a Job as a Student

For a lot of young people, schooling can be very stressful and tasking. The long hours in lecture rooms, endless list of assignments, bulky textbooks to study before the semester comes to an end and preparations for exams make the thought of working while getting a degree seem an unachievable feat.

One of the things that generally discourages students from getting a job is the assumption that all jobs require a 9-5 shift and would adversely affect their studies.

This is not entirely true!

Many jobs are available out there, but it is not all of these jobs that are convenient for students. There are a lot of student jobs that offer shorter working hours because the employees understand that their student-workforce would need to be in class too; so they do not fail their exams.

Students should therefore go for jobs that would allow them to have sufficient time for their schooling whilst working. Examples of less-tasking student jobs are; babysitting, tutoring, retail sale, restaurant, malls and supermarket positions that offer shifts, internships and many more options to be explored.

This article is designed to serve as a guide for students to enable them to identify the kind of jobs they should be getting in order to find the balance between work and school.

However, while some students try so hard to get a student job, others don’t feel the need to get one because; their parents or guardians have taken up total responsibility for their financial needs or they have access to student loans or scholarships that cover the cost of education. But they fail to understand that student jobs have much more to offer than just monetary benefits. These jobs do not only provide a source of cash to students, getting a student job is also a way to show that you are responsible and gets you ready for the world outside school.

Benefits of Getting a Student Job

The benefits of working a full or per-time job while in college include;

Helps you develop time management skills

After graduation, you may find yourself working for a company where you have a lot of work piled up with deadlines constantly breathing down your neck; these are called high stress work environments. In order to meet up with the deadlines, you have to be able to manage your time effectively. Holding a student job while schooling is an excellent way to learn time management and will also help you better handle high stress work environments.

Boosts your resume

Taking a student job; whether in your intended career path or not, can help boost your resume. Adding your student job experience to your resume can give it a boost that would make you stand out from other graduates applying for the same job because employers value experience.

Puts you ahead of your competition

It is true that potential employers need to know that you had good grades in school but, the mere fact that you have had job experience, no matter how small the job is, leaves them extra impressed. Getting work experience (whether paid or unpaid) while you are in college puts you ahead of the other graduates vying for that same job.

Provides work experience

The job experience you accumulate by working a student job gives you a more competitive edge over other graduates and also adds value to your resume. Think of it as practical knowledge accumulation as opposed to the theoretical knowledge that you might have acquired in school.

Helps you develop good money management skills

It is rare to see somebody willing to teach another person how to manage money. So how then do you learn? You learn by personal experience. Postponing getting your first job until after graduation is not so wise because, you are succeeding in delaying yourself from breaking into the work force where you would be responsible for the money you earn and spend. Taking a job makes you responsible for some of your bills and personal expenses. Therefore, you would have to allocate budgets to ensure that all your needs are met.

Provides you with cash

Working per-time or full-time at a student job gives you a constant flow of cash. If you have to see yourself through college, then you would be needing a student job to provide you with money. Even if your parents give you money for school expenses, you probably would be needing the extra cash to buy clothes, go on trips, throw parties or buy new phones.


The company or persons you worked for in college can be a part of the professional network that will open doors for you. If a customer likes your work ethics, he may introduce you to his friend that may offer you a better job once you are done with college.

Keeps you from unnecessary debts

Taking on a student job is an easy way to avoid taking debts. If you have a job, you would not need to borrow as much from your friends in school. If you have a dress or textbook you need to purchase, you can easily buy it with the money you earn at work.

How to Get a Student Job

1. Consider what you hope to achieve by getting a student job

If you want to gain experience in your field of study, then you should be looking for internships where you can learn the practical aspect of the theoretical tenets taught in school. However, if you are looking for a means to make extra cash, then you do not have to limit your search.

2. Think about what skills and past experiences you have

When looking for a student job, knowing what skills and past experiences you have will help you shape your job hunt in the right direction. Think about how beneficial your skills will be to the job.

3. Start your job search

Once you have decided the kind of job you want, then you should start looking for openings in places that you want to work. You can go to the companies and ask if they are recruiting or look for jobs online and tell your friends about your job hunt. Their parents or relatives might be recruiting.

4. Find out whether you require working papers or resume

Once you have identified a vacant position that you are comfortable with, you should find out what is required to apply for a job with them. If they require working papers, then you would have to be 18 to get one. If they need a resume, you should build one. Don’t forget to include your work experience in school (community service or laboratory postings) to your resume.

5. Collect references

You would need to attach at least three references to your resume. References are people who write down notes that vouch for your character and work ethics. You can get references from your teachers, academic advisors or coaches.

It can be very challenging to find the balance between school and work as a student. But you should know that at the end of the day, the benefits of getting a student job outweighs the challenges. No matter how small the wages of the job may be, whether it is a 2 or 4 hours job, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you are gathering valuable experience that would be very beneficial to you in the future.

Also, your student job shouldn’t necessarily affect your grade in school. If you feel like you are working for extra-long hours, you can ask your employer to cut down the hours. It is in your best interest.