Are you looking for the perfect side job to accompany your studies? Whether you need to earn some pocket money or want to gain professional experience, working while studying can be advantageous.
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Start by making sure that your part-time job will not distract you from your ultimate goal – to graduate successfully and get your Masters diploma. Side jobs can be useful unless they take too much of your time and energy. If you still want to give it a try, here are several ideas that make sense for university students.
Dive into your field of study
The best option would be to combine study and work. Finding a side job in the same field as your university studies will be a very meaningful way to gain practical experience. It will look good on your CV/resume, but more importantly, it will prepare you for work life after graduation. For example, if you are majoring in communication or journalism, having a side job at a media or news agency will reveal the inside world of work in this field.
Real-life work experience will also have major benefits for your studies. Sometimes, university students find it difficult to put academic theory in context and to imagine the real-life implications of what they are studying. Making decisions at work, even if it is for a few hours per week, will help you understand many of the academic concepts that might seem too abstract.
Read: The Value of Work Experience for Masters Studies
Explore your hobbies
It will not be easy to find the perfect side job that pays the bills and gives you experience in your field of study. Do not hesitate to expand your options by looking for opportunities that fit your hobbies instead. Are you a passionate music festival goer? Perhaps some local event organisers are looking for help. Do you have an interest in new technologies? Tech startups are always on the lookout for young talent.
A part-time job that corresponds to your interests will help you unwind and get a mental break from your studies. Even if your day-to-day schedule is packed with classes, studying, and working, your side job might provide a much-needed change of pace and scenery.
Gain experience with any part-time job
So far, it probably sounds too good to be true. Securing your first job in a field you are passionate about is not easy and you might not be able to find one right away. However, if you are set on working while studying, do not give up so quickly. There are many regular part-time jobs suitable for students out there. Think of your favourite coffee places, shops, or delivery services in the area. Are they looking for new staff?
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Do not underestimate part-time jobs that seem easy. Working as a shop assistant, for example, will teach you a lot about communication, teamwork, time management and more. In addition, you might have an advantage later if you decide you want to climb the career ladder in the company.
Of course, earning even a modest salary will provide the stability you might be looking for during your graduate school studies.
Make the world a better place
If you are not looking for regular income yet, but rather for experience and meaningful action, check out local charities and NGOs. These types of organisations are always in need of passionate volunteers who can spare some of their free time for a good cause.
The work is usually very dynamic and versatile, which means you will get experience in many different functions. One day you might have to help creatively with marketing, writing or design, while the next day, you might be needed on site (think of local food banks or shelters, for example).
Although the work is rarely well-paid, people who volunteer receive plenty of other benefits. Next to changing the world for the better and meeting passionate people, you will also be able to include this invaluable experience on your CV/resume. Your future employers will be impressed by your dedication to an extracurricular cause.
Start your own project
Some people are always bursting with new ideas, even as students. If you happen to be one of them and have an interesting project in mind, this might be the perfect opportunity to hammer it out. Thanks to all your university classes, you will be surrounded with peers who might be interested in helping you as well as with professors who will be more than happy to mentor you. Do not hesitate to ask for their guidance because many of them will have the practical experience you need.
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However, be careful when it comes to jumping into big commitments that might cost you too much. Unless you have already started your own business before, it might be smart to keep your project low-risk. Try to find the balance between steering your imagination and ideas forward and completing your Masters on time.
Do you find any of these opportunities for a side job inspiring? If you prefer to focus on your studies, that’s fine too! Just enjoy your time at university because it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.