Find a part-time job

So, you are in the UK. And, you are looking for part-time jobs. But, where should you start?

Part-time Jobs at the University

You can start by looking around at your university. Most universities offer part-time jobs which can be either a barista, cashier, assistant, student ambassador among a few others. You can either apply on the students’ union website, or at the career department of your university.

Are part-time jobs at the university helpful?

Yes, they are. And there are several benefits of working at the university.

  1. Good Salary: The biggest benefit of working at your university is that you will get the National Minimum Wage, and in most cases, even more.
  2. Understanding Management: Your boss, or your immediate head would be a bit more sensitive towards your engagements as a student. Therefore, you would not find it hard to request for holidays, or leave from some shifts. As it is a university environment, your shifts would be flexible.
  3. Student Ambassador Roles: Student ambassador roles are extremely beneficial as you get to make a lot of friends and are at the centre-point of the university’s representation. This helps you interact with several people and build a network. If you are an undergraduate, then you should definitely look for these kind of roles.

Is it easy to get a part-time job at the university?

Depends on the university and time-period of applying. For instance, if there are several events lined up at your university, then jobs for photographers, event coordinators, student coordinators, and jobs of the like would be easy to get.

Additionally, the bigger universities (in the bigger cities) would have some or the other job postings all year round. So, finding a job will not be that difficult. However, the bigger the university the higher the competition. If you are studying at a prestigious university that has events, exhibitions, seminars and other such things going on occasionally, then you would have more applications applying at a given time too.

Working for your professor

If you find it hard to get a job at your university, you can simply ask your professors for some types of work. They might offer you work like researching for some ideas, moving some stuff around, and the like. You might/might not get paid desirable hourly rates. But, it will be something to start with.

Job Fairs at the University

Your university must be organising job fairs where both small and large companies would participate. At those fairs, you can network with the big companies and see if they have something part-time that they can offer. Additionally, you can approach the small companies for some part-time jobs. If you are not sure whether your university organises these job fairs, look at their calendar on their website. If you don’t find anything there, then simply shoot them an email.

How long will I have to work at the university?

Not more than 20 hours. Since you are legally allowed to do part-time work for 20 hours per week during term time, you will not be allowed to do any more shifts.

When it comes to contract, most likely you are going to be getting a rolling monthly contract. In some cases, you might have to sign a fixed term contract. In either case, things will be in your favour as working at your university will be much safer and convenient.

Where else can I find part-time jobs in the UK?

You can find part-time work at cafes, restaurants, stores like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, local Off-Licence stores, libraries, among a few others.

You can simply start by looking for jobs online on portals like Indeed, CV-Library, Monster and look for cashier jobs and the like.

What are the benefits of working part-time at such stores?

While you may find it hard to get a manager who understands that you need a leave to complete that one assignment, you may be in luck sometimes. When it comes to benefits, it would entirely depend on the kind of place that you are working at, the team you are working with and the customers you are dealing with.

All of these factors combined will have an impact on how you generally feel about the work and the atmosphere. If you are young, then you might get affected by the occasional offensive remark of the customer, or the mismanagement of your boss, or the indifference of your colleagues. However, as long as you understand that it is simply a job that you are doing that pays off your bills, you will be fine.

What was my experience working as a cashier at a gambling shop in London?

I worked at a gambling shop for an year while in London. Because the shop was in South-East London, it was a dangerous place to work. However, it sure was fun because the people I worked with were very supportive. If you would like to know more about my experience working there and learn about mistakes, click here.

Working as waiting staff

Now, working as a waiter at a restaurant might seem ideal. But, if you are looking at jobs that only have 8-hour or 10-hour shifts, then you should think about getting jobs that pay you at-least £10/hour. This is because the sum of your shifts might not add up to complete 20 hours. And if you are not getting a good hourly rate, you might find it hard to survive off of that money.

Walk around and look for jobs

Oftentimes, taking a walk around your area and asking around at cafes can get you a job as well. There are several cafes in the UK that will simply advertise their job opening right outside their window. If you happen to see that, do not miss the chance. Walk in with your CV and you might just get a job.

How much salary should I ask for?

It depends on your own age, the kind of work that you are doing and the kind of place you are applying for work. While the university might not offer you the chance to negotiate a salary, you can do it while working at small stores or cafes.

Keep the National Minimum Wage in mind. Remember that you will only be able to work for 20 hours a week during term-time. Now, if you are just worried about paying your essential bills like food, travel, and other essential stuff, a salary between £8 and £10 will easily get you by.

If, however, you have to pay for your accommodation as well, then you need to get jobs that pay at-least £12 – £15/hour.

Your expenses will vary with the city that you live in

Your expenses in the UK will vary with the city you are in. If your university, accommodation, and work place are all in walking distance, then you would save up hugely on travel. Therefore, even a job that will pay you £8/h will be useful to start with.

Then, once you have an exact estimate of what your monthly expenses look like, you can change your job.

What should my CV look like?

Pretty basic. Just include your achievements qualifications. Try to make it as short as possible. One-page resume works for small stores and restaurants. However, if you happen to apply to big companies then make sure it is specifically catered to their company.

What about the contract?

Most likely, you will get a rolling monthly contract as you will be working part-time. So, that would not be an issue.