Working as a Student
These days most students undertake some form of part-time work to help support themselves while they’re studying. There are a wide range of employment opportunities for students and it should be fairly easy to find a job.
The money from a part-time job is certainly helpful but it’s important that paid work doesn’t interfere with your studies You will need to manage your time well in order to juggle working and studying effectively.
On average students earn around £115 per week. If you’ll be earning over £5,225 per year, you’ll need to pay tax on your earnings. Our article on Tax for Students will help you with this.
As well as earning some money, working part-time whilst you’re studying can have other benefits. Teasing out the transferable skills you’re using in your job can be a good CV builder. For example you might be handling cash, managing others, setting your own workload or honing your communication skills. These things will all come in handy when you’re applying for graduate jobs.
What Kind of Job Could I Do?Typical jobs for students include shop, bar and restaurant work. Even if this type of work isn’t what you have in mind in the long-term shops, bars and cafes always need staff, provide regular work and can even be fun! Most of these jobs will pay minimum wage or just above.
More and more businesses are waking up to the largely untapped skills pool that UK students offer. A number of websites are cropping up which allow students to apply for advertised projects or offer their own professional skills. This could be anything from writing, to illustration or even tutoring.
Businesses benefit from reduced rate fees, while students get some real world work experience, money and portfolio material. Think about what you could offer. Could you design a website for a local company, or help out with an organisation’s marketing for example?
If you have lots of clutter lying around, and could do with some extra cash you could think about selling it through a site such as eBay or having a car boot sale. You could also consider selling your stuff on to record, book or second-hand clothes shops, depending on what you’ve got. You might not make a fortune but you could bring in enough for a night out or a week’s food shopping at least.
If none of this appeals do you have any talents or hobbies that you could turn into cash? Selling creations such as jewellery or paintings could make you some money. Many people also use websites and blogs to make money these days by selling advertising space.
Finding WorkThe first place to look for work as a student should be your university or college’s job shop. There will be a wide range of roles on offer from shop and bar work, to one off projects for local businesses. You could potentially pick up some work relevant to your area of study if you’re lucky. Visit regularly if you’re looking for work, and be prompt with sending in applications and following them up with a phone call if it’s appropriate.It’s also worth looking in the local paper or job centre for relevant opportunities.
If there’s something in particular you’d like to do, or a company you’d like to work for, there’s nothing to lose by sending in a speculative email or phone call.
There are also a number of student employment websites which are worth signing up with. Many will send you email or text alerts about new, relevant jobs.