University is an awesome experience as it is the start of your adulthood. Though you have the most independence, getting a job whilst you study can help make University an even more awesome experience so that you can travel, have fun and save up for after you complete your degree.
For The Money
For the dough. The moola. The big buckaroos. While it’s not all about the money, let’s be honest – the cash you can earn is definitely an important consideration when it comes to finding a job. And if you’re a university student without a regular income who’s currently eating into your student loan or savings, it’s an enticing prospect.
Some time spent working every week, even it’s for a few hours, will help you to ease the burden on your bank account and bring in some much needed extra cash. The good thing about getting a job at university is that there are plenty of opportunities out there, and you don’t have to worry about doing a crushing amount of hours.
What we mean is that, while you could choose to give up your evenings and weekends if you want to work for about 20 hours a week, you could also look for a job that just requires you to work on Saturdays and Sundays. Of course, the more hours you do in total, the more money you’re likely to earn, so really it comes down to how much extra dosh you want.
For instance, if you do ten hours over the course of a weekend, you could earn at least £50-£70ish quid (depending on your age and the minimum wage). Okay, that amount’s not going to help you buy a yacht any time soon, but if should at least cover your weekly food shop, short holidays away, nights out or ‘crucial’ textbooks that your lecturer has written.
For The Experience
University’s all about experience, isn’t it? But believe it or not, that doesn’t just mean ‘life’ experience (which is normally subtext for eating off paper plates for a year because you get be bothered to wash up, or crawling into bed when the sun’s just rising because you’ve been up all night doing…something).
It can also mean work, or professional, experience too. Why not get a job at university as this is the kind of experience that comes from having a job and the responsibility that’s attached to it. Yep, even those four hours spent stacking shelves on a Saturday count for something. Because it gives you an appreciation of what it’s like to work in a real job, and more importantly, it gives you a paragraph on your CV. That little document that will play a big part in your professional life.
Getting one or two (or even a few) different jobs during your time at university whether at home or abroad will give you some real experience and skills to slap down onto that piece of paper, which looks much nicer than a blank A4 page that just has your name at the top (even if you’re a minimalist).
Once you’re a graduate, recruiters will expect you to have some experience and not be a total newbie to the work place. Not to mention the fact that you’ll have some knowledge of how to get through interviews too!
For The Chance To Make New Mates
Okay, so it takes you ages to scroll through your list of contacts and your every waking hour’s already taken up with social events, but you can never have too many friends, right? Well, what better way to meet even more new people than by getting a job while at university and working alongside a bunch of randomers?
While the main purpose of getting a job is to…erm, work…that doesn’t mean you have to take a vow of silence beforehand. You can still chat to your colleagues, find out their life stories and break up the time spent sticking sales labels on stuff by discussing your favorite Breaking Bad moments (roof pizza anyone?) or what colours you saw while looking at that dress.
After all, time flies when you’re having fun (or are less bored). Just make sure you balance the work / chat ratio, or you may not have the job for long…
For The Excitement
We know what you’re thinking. “For the excitement? Really? That’s all you could come up with? How can work be exciting?” Okay, perhaps you’ve got a point. Going to work isn’t exactly like spending the day in a theme park (unless you work in a theme park).
But maybe it’s fairer to say “for the chance to avoid being bored out of your tree and earn money at the same time”. Because let’s face it, what would you spend your time doing if you weren’t in work? Studying? Possibly. Sitting on the couch watching Loose Women? Probably. Come on…work’s surely got to be better than that, and much more beneficial too.
For The Bants
Nerf guns? Check. Marshmallow-eating contests? Check. Five-a-side? Check. Fantasy football? Of course. If you’re lucky, you could find yourself working for a company that has all of these things and more.
Many employers now focus on making sure that their work environment is a fun place to be in, as it keeps employees motivated, engaged and, as a result, more productive. So, if you want to have a good time – why not go to work? Bet you never thought you’d read that sentence.
For The Chance To Get Ahead Of Your Peers
This is an important one. You’re at university to learn and get ahead in life, by graduating with a good degree and setting off towards a long and prosperous career, right? Well, that’s very admirable, but it’s not quite that simple anymore. Companies value graduates with degrees, but that’s not all that they look for in applicants.
After all, many graduates leave university with the same qualification these days, so how do you stand out among the crowd without resorting to dressing up like Where’s Wally? Well, that’s where your relevant work experience comes in. If you combine real professional experience, gained from time you spent working for a company, with your degree qualification, you’ll be a more attractive prospect than other graduates who have a degree, but no practical experience.
So, putting in the effort to get a job at university could help you reap the rewards later, when you get your hands on the graduate job that you really, really want.
For The Chance To Learn
Do you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, or what skills you need to develop? If you don’t, then that’s all the more reason to get a job at university. The best way to learn is by doing, and by throwing yourself into a working environment, you’ll be able to develop key skills that will serve you well for the rest of your career.
That might sound like a bit of an exaggeration, but think about it for a sec. You may be asked to work in a role that requires you to help customers or play a key role in projects, analyse data or manage deliveries, to name just a few of the many tasks you could be involved in.
This will help you to develop your communication, time management, decision-making and organisational skills, which are some of the key qualities that all employers look for. Developing those skills now, while still studying, will help you to hit the ground sprinting when you graduate and build upon them in the future.
For The LOL Moments
We mentioned earlier the fun (yes, fun!) you can have during work, but we didn’t even mention the fact that many companies also host regular social events for their employees too. Why would you want to miss out on them?
For The Chance To Become Influential
You’ll have to forgive us for looking into our crystal ball a bit for these next two points, but they’re just as relevant as the ones that have come before. Many influential figures who’ve gone on to become leaders in their fields started working at a young age, in order to learn about their industries and develop key skills early in their careers.
You only have to look at Alan Sugar, Mary Portas, Stuart Rose and Charlie Mullins as prominent examples, among others. While they didn’t all go to university, what they did do was start learning about what it takes to succeed early on in life, and then work their way up to become well-known business leaders.
What we’re saying is that, when you get a job at university, you’ll be able to start your career early and give yourself the chance to work your way up from there. Who knows how far you could climb?
For The Chance To Retire Early
Again, we’re looking into the future with this one, so retirement is probably the very last thing on your mind right now. So what does getting a job while studying at university have to do with your retirement?
Well, look at it this way. The earlier you kick-off your career, the sooner you’ll start earning money and climbing the career ladder, giving you the chance to reach senior positions and continue to increase your salary.
And the more you earn while you’re young, the more you’ll have saved up, meaning you may well reach the stage when you have enough in the bank to say goodbye to the day job, sit back and relax.
Of course, don’t take it for granted that that will always happen – it still requires you to get a good job and excel at it. But the sooner you’re on the career ladder, the faster you can climb it. In fact, in February 2015, Bloomberg reported that “lifetime earnings are decided in the first 10 years of your career”, so you don’t just have to take our word for it.
Are you feeling motivated and ready to ignite your career? If you are, then why not check out RateMyPlacement? The site advertises hundreds of the best placements, internships, vacation schemes and insights that are aimed at undergraduates like you, giving you the chance to work for globally-leading employers and gain incredible experience. Take a look today to avoid missing out on your dream job.