STUDENT LIFE / SEP. 06, 2016
version 8, draft 8

5 Employability Skills You Can Gain from Working a Part-Time Job as a Student

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You learn a lot of valuable employability skills from having a part-time job at university! Are you aware of them? Do you know the most important ones!

If you are a new university student, you are probably wondering whether you have the time or the will to find a part-time job. The truth is that a student’s life is much more relaxed without any work responsibilities to worry about, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t find a part-time job if you are a determined individual whose goal in life is to become successful in their career.

There are a lot of factors you need to take into consideration before making this decision. For example, you should consider the more immediate benefits of a part-time job: paying off your student debt will be much easier, while you’ll also be more financially independent.

But, if you are not certain what you should do, don’t rush into making this decision. Adjusting to university life can be difficult for some people so give yourself some time before beginning your search for a part-time job. It’s important to take the time to decide as this will help you make a more informed decision. Give yourself time to get into a studying pattern, get to know your campus and get to know people you can hang out with as these are all essential aspects of a student’s life.

Having work experience as a graduate will put you ahead of the competition, and it might make it easier for you to get a job. It might also help you be more confident during job interviews and down the line it could help your career advancement more than you think.

1. Self-Management Skills

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Self-management skills refer to those skills that relate to being reliable and trustworthy in the workplace. For example, being punctual is one such skill and since recent grads have no way of proving that they are reliable or punctual (since they’ve never been required to show up at work) it makes them risky hires. This is one of the reasons hiring managers often feel the need to steer clear of recent grads.

But things can be different if you’ve had a part-time job as a student. It is especially true if you manage to maintain the same job the whole time, it proves that you can be trusted.

Having this skill can really make a difference as a jobseeker because younger people are often avoided exactly because of their lack of self-management skills. So, if you want to make your career path as speedy as possible consider finding a part-time job.

2. Communication Skills

You gain communication skills!

Communication skills refer to a person’s ability to communicate effectively with clients, coworkers and employer. Being able to communicate effectively means to listen, understand and express yourself in a manner that shows your appreciation for others’ opinions.

As a student, you are likely to find a part-time job as a waiter at a bar or restaurant, or at a retail store, and this means that whether you feel like it or not you are going to be required to improve your communication skills. These jobs will all require learning proper etiquette, and they will help you understand how to communicate more effectively depending on who the audience is.

Excellent communication skills can put you ahead of the competition as not everyone can prove a track record of successful interactions with clients.

3. Working Under Pressure

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Not all workplaces are hectic, but most of them are and as technology progresses and we can provide more services faster, it will become even more hectic. Unfortunately, this makes the workplace stressful and employees are pressured to produce more than they think they can handle. Although this may seem unpleasant, it’s the reality for most people and the truth is that eventually most of us get used to it.

But, many people falter under the pressure of work, and this is why a hiring manager will be looking for someone who’s done it before and knows what it’s like to work under pressure. Even if your part-time job was in an entirely unrelated field, the hiring manager will be able to tell how this skill can be transferred.

4. Self-Motivation

You may think that self-motivation is not a major employability skill and that it’s something that you can show later on after you are hired, but the truth is that hiring managers value self-motivation a lot.

Self-motivation refers to one’s enthusiasm for work and leads to creativity and innovation. So, as progress at work can only be made by employees who are excited to work for their company self-motivation becomes an essential employability skill.

Self-motivation also refers to your ability to persevere and push yourself to work hard. As having worked as a student means that you had to push yourself to work when other people were out having fun, it can prove your dedication to work, as well as your determination to succeed.

5. Time-Management

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Another employability skill that will make you appealing to hiring managers is time management. Time management refers to one’s ability to work within set timeframes and being able to juggle different projects and prioritise one over the other in terms of what is more urgent.

Having juggled a part-time job and your studies is a good indicator as to the fact that you have mastered this skill which is why hiring managers won’t hesitate to believe you when you claim to have excellent management skills on your CV.

If you are applying for a position that requires juggling many projects and being able to prioritise between those projects, then rest assured that you’ll at least get called in for the interview.

There are many benefits to be gained from having a part-time job and if you dream of been able to succeed in a specific career, finding a part-time job could be an excellent first step to take. If you can, try to find a job that is as closely related to the career you want to follow as possible so you can use it as work experience which could get your leg in the door.

Of course, this might not be easy considering that there are not many opportunities for part-time jobs in serious industries, but if you manage to get a job within the same industry (for example if you plan on pursuing a career in hospitality and find a job as a waiter) it’s already more experience that your competition is likely to have. Moreover, if you do decide to find a job, try to stick to it throughout university as it will demonstrate your determination and loyalty.

Do you have any advice for students who are thinking of getting part-time jobs? If you do, please share with us in the comment section below.

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