Working while studying can be really beneficial for a lot of reasons, but there are a few disadvantages (as well as some important rules) to be aware of too. However, they’re pretty easy to overcome with determination and efficient time management. With the advice we’ll cover in this blog, you’ll be able to turn those disadvantages into advantages easily.
The advantages of working while studying
You can earn extra money during term and holiday time
The most obvious advantage to working while studying is the extra money you’ll be able to earn.
Having a little bit of extra money in your pocket helps to make university life even more enjoyable. You’ll be able to spend more on the food you love, such as unique ingredients for those home-inspired recipes. You can even eat out more, experiencing more brilliant flavours in your chosen UK city.
Having a little more money means you can do more activities. Is there an interesting sport you’ve always wanted to try? Is there a place you’ve always wanted to travel to? Having extra income can help you do these things.
Finally, you could even start saving the money you make from a part-time job. Use this for something expensive like a new laptop or a holiday. You could also open a savings account and start planning for your future.
You’ll find more opportunities to network
A part-time job is a great way to meet people from different backgrounds and with different skills. There’s always someone to meet and something new you can learn.
Networking opportunities are especially important if you find a part-time job that relates to your career. For example, if you’re studying law and you get an internship at a law firm, you can connect with people who can give you information and advice.
Before working, remember to create a LinkedIn profile that you can use to connect with other professionals online, building your credibility and knowledge of the sector. You can find information on how to create a brilliant LinkedIn profile here.
You can gain work experience and develop course-relevant skills
Working while studying is a great opportunity to gain work experience and useful skills. If it’s a job related to your degree or the career you want to work in, you can put into practice what you’ve been learning on your course. This first-hand experience might even help you to complete your assignments to a better standard and perhaps even perform better in exams as you have direct experience to talk about.
Unfortunately, sometimes it can be difficult to find part-time work that is linked to your degree. Even if you don’t find a job that directly relates to your degree or the career you’d like to go into, the experience of working allows you to gain a number of transferable skills, including time management, money handling, leadership and teamwork. These can be applied to many different aspects of life.
You can add all the responsibilities and duties you have in your part-time job to your CV and talk about them in a way that employers will find impressive. Remember to consider the role you’re applying for and tailor these duties as things you can apply in any role. Include details of the relevant skills you gained and how you demonstrated them.
There is an opportunity for learning within any position and it’s up to you to make the most of any part-time job you find yourself in while studying.
You’ll learn how to manage your money and time
Managing your time and money is something you’ll have to do for the rest of your life, so it’s a good idea to practise these things while at university.
A part-time job will give you extra money to handle and plan with. You’ll also have new responsibilities to fit alongside your social life and studying schedule. This can seem difficult but after a bit of practice, it’ll soon become a lot easier.
By spending time working, you’ll learn how to better use your free time for other activities such as hobbies or sports. More importantly, you’ll learn to appreciate them more. If you’re working while studying, it’s a great idea to join a university society so you have a reason to go out and enjoy yourself with similar people.
Balancing work and play is such an important technique to learn and it will benefit you throughout your whole life.
The disadvantages of working while studying
You might have less free time
When you’re studying, your biggest priority is your degree. If you have a very important exam, essay or project to complete, you don’t want to spend all your free time working.
This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get the most from your job and your studies. It’s all about balancing your time efficiently. You can do this by creating a schedule for your week where you can plan your working hours, study hours and other responsibilities.
Working a part-time job also might mean that you have less time to spend with friends you’ve made in your accommodation or on your course.
However, it depends on how you structure your time. By creating a schedule for yourself so you can see when you have lectures and seminars to attend and shifts to work. That way, you can see how much time you have left over to study, complete assignments and socialise.
You can also make friends at your job. A lot of part-time jobs in a student-friendly city will be employing other university students, so you’ll probably be surrounded by people your age and with similar interests or experiences.
Making friends at work can help the time pass more quickly and make the responsibilities become a lot more fun to carry out.
Extra work can be tiring
You can only do your best in your job or degree if you’re feeling well-rested and energetic. Working while studying has the possible disadvantage of tiring you out, which could impact your studies.
To work and study effectively at the same time, there are a few things you could do:
- set yourself a schedule. That way, you’ll be able to see when you have lectures and seminars, shifts to work and how much time to privately study and socialise. This can help you prioritise your workload and be able to make sure you get enough rest
- make sure you’re getting a good amount of sleep every night – which is around six to eight hours. Coffee and sugar may seem like a good way to quickly find energy, but it’s not something you should rely on. After a brief period of feeling energised, you’ll go back to feeling tired.
- try to eat a good breakfast and healthy food throughout the day to maintain your energy level.
There’s the possibility of stress
Working while studying exposes you to new responsibilities, new faces and unfamiliar practices. These can make you feel overwhelmed, but don’t worry – there are ways to handle this.
If you’re struggling at university, take some time to reevaluate whether your job is making you feel that way. If you need someone to talk to.
You’ll also learn a few things about stress management through working while at university, like learning how to de-stress and calm yourself through post-work activities. You’ll get better at remaining calm under pressure.
These are things that you can come back to in whatever career you end up getting after graduation. Little things such as meditation, relaxing walks, movies and books can all help your mind slow down after a busy day.