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Student life-after you start

Student jobs

In need of a student job in summer, over Christmas or during your studies? We’ve got some tips to help keep the money coming in.

Bartender pouring beer from tap at bar

Finding a job

So you’ve decided to earn some extra cash. Good on you! Finding a job may initially seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be if you know where to start.

Use the university job shop
Most students' unions have one of these that offer a whole host of ad hoc employment. Register online and there will probably be a regular newsletter to keep you informed of the latest vacancies.

Get out there and meet people
There's a lot to be said for dropping into local pubs, restaurants and shops to ask if there are any vacancies. It can serve as an opportunity to make a good impression and, who knows, perhaps they’ll make a vacancy for you!

Look for Christmas jobs well in advance
Naturally, the retail and hospitality sectors become much busier at Christmas and many businesses will be looking for extra staff.

If all else fails look for alternative methods
Take part in market research, become a ‘mystery diner’, sell your design work, try tutoring, freelance and so on. If you’re willing to put the time in to look around, there’s bound to be a way you can make a bit of extra cash.

Types of student jobs

As a student, you have a number of job options available for you to explore, which include:

  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Seasonal jobs

Alternatively, it may be possible to find an internship with a company that is relevant to the subject you are studying. In certain circumstances, interns who carry out work for an employer may be entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

Part-time jobs

Getting a part-time job not only provides some extra pocket money, but it’s also an opportunity to meet new people and extend your network. It can have a positive impact on your life in a number of ways.

Money
Need we say more? The extra cash from part-time work lets you comfortably cover the cost of living, sometimes even leaving a little aside for fun.

Budgeting
Students who earn their own money tend to spend it wisely. Part-time jobs are often tough, and hard-earned money can be painful to part with. In short, students are more likely to save their money for necessities such as textbooks and rent. 

Time management
Students with jobs typically have less free time. This predisposes them to become more organised and better planners, learning to weigh their priorities in order to meet deadlines. Effective time management benefits both your studies and life after university.

Boredom
You'll have less time to feel this. The combination of studying and having a job means there’s little time to get bored.

Your future
Use your part-time job to get an introduction to a career or area of interest you hope to pursue after university. The experience will help you stand out from the crowd in interviews, and you can begin networking with others in your chosen field. Forming professional relationships at this early stage will help your chances of gaining employment after graduation.

Transferable skills
A part-time job can provide you with a skill set much in demand by graduate employers: 

  • Commercial awareness – a common complaint from employers is of a lack of commercial awareness in graduates. You’ll be exposed to working in a commercial environment, an experience which will help you stand out from the crowd
  • Teamwork – you’ll likely work as part of a team, which equips you with the skills needed to work with people of varying personality. This will help you work on group projects at university, as well as being of great benefit through life in general
  • Initiative – in the workplace things will go wrong. How will you react to the unexpected? Keep a note of problems solved and disasters averted – you can use these to your advantage when it comes to interviews
  • All of the above, combined with the initiative you’ve shown in working whilst studying, will show employers that you’re ambitious and have an excellent work ethic

Work on campus

When looking for part-time work, why not have a look on campus. During the summer, professors may be looking for research assistants, or there might be some work in a university facility such as the library. Find useful guidance for international students seeking part-time work from the National Association of Student Employment Services.

Volunteer

Volunteering is also a way to use your spare time in between study, work and travel. There are plenty of clubs and societies on campus to join, with events often looking for a number of volunteers. Outside of uni, there may be volunteering opportunities to explore. You can pick an area you're passionate about, whether that be in sport, social care, education, arts or conservation. This can be a great addition for your CV too, as it shows a willingness to offer your time and services regardless of the money.

Your rights

Part-time work

  • A student working part-time has the same rights as a full-time employee
  • The UK has a National Minimum Wage that all employers must abide by
  • The NMW for a student aged between 18 and 20 is £6.45 per hour; for those 21 to 24, the NMW is £8.20 per hour; for 25 and over it's £8.72
  • Find more about working part-time and your employment rights at from gov.uk

National Insurance number

To work part-time while studying, a National Insurance number is required. This ensures all tax and national insurance contributions made while working are recorded correctly. Find out more about National Insurance from HM Revenue & Customs.

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