Balancing your Studies and a Part-time Job

Once you arrive at university you’ll quickly discover that there are lots of things to plan into your life – involvement in extracurricular activities, making new friends and studying. The other thing

By Rubie Targema-Takema

you might want or need to consider is a part-time job to support yourself.

A part-time job is ideal because you can base it around your studies, it gives you independence, experience and a wage and there are plenty of student jobs around.

You just need to have a National Insurance Number and meet the job specification and you will be able to apply.

While finding a balance between you part-time work and your studies is key, your academic work should always remain the priority.

What works best for me is to plan. I create a weekly schedule with all the stuff I have to do, leaving space for any emergencies that might crop up.

Get yourself a small portable diary so you can plan for each day. You’ll be surprised how writing it all down keeps you in check – you can keep referring to it and cross it off as you go.  Using a diary like this is a really effective way to plan in your part-time work and studying. You just need to manage this for yourself and find out what works best for you. For some great tips on getting organised see here.

Don’t be afraid to say no to extra shifts when you have lots of studying to do. Your employer will usually understand and try and offer you hours to fit with your studies.

As well as the extra income you get from a part-time job (which is always nice) you gain a lot of experience that can help you applying for jobs during a placement year and also when you graduate. Don’t forget to put all this experience in your CV.

No-one can tell you ‘the best job’ to apply for. You just need to find one that suits you and fits around your studies. You want to be able to get the best experience possible without compromising what you are trying to achieve with your degree. Purple Door have a part-time jobs notice board which is one of the places you will be able to look for work.

Balancing part-time work and studies is something you get used to with time. I am in my second year now and have settled into a part-time work and studying routine. I am lucky because I am gaining lots of experience and transferable skills alongside my degree.

Just remember to plan!


By Rubie Targema-Takema