- February 2013
- Posted By Tara Jackson
- 0 Comments
College is an expensive endeavor, but the rewards can make it a wise financial investment. Instead of struggling to pay bills, find a job that meets your schedule and helps pay your living expenses.
How to select a job
Start your job search by thinking about your post-graduate career. Because you’ll spend a significant amount of time at work, make your effort worthwhile by choosing a job that prepares you for your future career. For example, business majors might benefit from working in a bank while computer techs can work in the computer lab at their school.
Next, find a job that meets your financial obligations. While student loans are typically repaid after graduation, you still need to pay for expenses like food, transportation, entertainment, clothing, and books. Before choosing a job, write down and organize your expenses. If you find any excess spending that you can forgo, now is the time to cut it. Consider finding a more affordable apartment or sharing a car. With your budget planned out, you’ll have a better idea of how much money you need to earn in order to meet your expenses.
Lastly, but very importantly, consider your school schedule. Certain jobs can be flexible, but you don’t want to skip class in order to work. If you’re an early riser and schedule your classes for the crack of dawn, don’t look for a job that requires morning hours. Plenty of jobs have shifts that begin later in the day so that you can schedule them around your classes. Or consider a job where you’ll only have to work weekends, like on in the hospitality or restaurant industry, which tend to be busier and therefore need more help on weekends and holidays. Instead, think about making sacrifices in your social life. You might have to miss a few parties or drop an extracurricular activity in order to provide a sustainable income for yourself.
Where to find a job
If you look hard enough, you will find job openings that meet your future goals and financial needs. The financial aid office should be your first stop. They frequently receive both on and off campus job openings and can match you with a position that meets your needs. Remember to ask professors or your department chair about possible job openings in your field of study. Professors often need a research assistant to help on a current project. Check your college newspaper or community bulletin board for a job list that’s updated regularly. Ask friends for recommendations, and look in the local newspaper and online job sites for additional job openings.
Great jobs for any student
As a full-time student, you won’t have unlimited hours to spend working and you want to make sure that you have enough time to focus on excelling academically as well. A part time job with flexible hours is a great option. If you’re lucky, you might find a job that will transition into a full time career after you graduate. In other cases, a part-time job can provide the income you need to make tuition payments, start paying off student loans, or cover living expenses.
Some jobs that are generally available on campus or work well with student schedules include the following:
- Research assistant to a professor
- Teaching assistant (TA)
- Campus dining hall staff
- Campus library assistant
- Various administrative and clerical positions in campus offices (these can include positions in sports offices, financial aid, alumni services, communications, etc.)
- Child care (some campuses have child care centers for the staff’s children or you can privately babysit locally)
- Computer specialist or computer lab assistant
- Intermural sports staff (officials, scorekeepers, etc.)
- Banquet wait staff
- Restaurant server, host, or bartender
No matter what type of job you find, keep your career goals in mind. If you apply yourself to finding the right job and work hard to excel at it, you’ll add value and practical experience to your resume and can help launch your post-graduate career.
About the Author
Tara Jackson is an education and career prep enthusiast. When she’s not writing about or researching colleges and careers for the college search engine, www.EduTrek.com, she enjoys hiking in the mountains and traveling. @tjatedutrek