Why it pays to have a part-time job

When I started university I wasn’t sure whether having a part-time job was a good option for me, I still lived at home and my student finance was giving me enough money to get by. It wasn’t until the January of that year that I decided I was going to move out with my friends for the start of the second year and I needed to get some money together to do that. I managed to get a job at a local hotel, who offered me bar and waitress work and I worked there until the end of my third year.

I worked on what was called a “zero hours contact”. This type of work suited me as I could decline shifts whenever I wanted to as I wasn’t contracted to work a certain amount of hours each week. This meant that I could fit it around my university work and this was incredibly helpful in my 3rd year!

I’m the kind of person who likes to study in the evening, so I would always choose to do breakfast shifts (5.30am-10am), so I could come home, enjoy the day and then study well into the evening.

On Saturdays however, I sometimes chose to work a 12-hour shift, which meant I didn’t have to work during the week and still got the same amount of money for it. This worked well for me as I managed to create a timetable around exam season. I made sure I put in when I would revise, work and have time to see family and friends.

I’m glad that I had a part-time job throughout my time at university and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is considering it. I learnt a lot throughout my job including a variety of skills such as communication and teamwork and I earned some money too. I also made a whole new group of friends, some of who I will know for the rest of my life. But most importantly, I enjoyed what I was doing and to me that was the best thing about having a part-time job


The Careers and Employability service at the university can give current students professional and impartial advice, but if you would like more careers help before you come to university contact your school careers team.