If you’re asking me what sort of qualifications I have that enables me to be giving such advice, I’ll have to be honest. I don’t have any formal qualifications but I’m kind of a job whore. I’ve been through so many jobs that I’ve left out quite a few on my resume (because employers don’t like job whores), and there’s been many times when I’ve held two or three jobs at once.
Now when I say job, let me emphasize that I distinguish this from a career. There’s a whole bunch of different things you have to consider when choosing a career, but I won’t go in to that.
But if you’re a Uni student like me, either looking for your first job, or looking for another job because your last one was a flop, but you were really liking the extra income it gave you, then you should take these following things in to consideration in order to avoid being a job whore like me, and find a job you can stick with. Not only will you get more solid references to put on your resume later on, to other employers, you look like a more reliable worker.
So here goes, what to consider when finding that part-time job you want to stick with:
- Location, location, location.
From personal experience, I know that I’ve taken up many job offers, without considering exactly how much time I’ll take to get to the job. When you’re desperate for a job, or money, you sort of don’t care how far you have to travel to get paid. But learn from my mistakes. A job that is too far out of the way, is not a sustainable job. You’ll be looking for a new job within a few months because it’s just too much of a hassle to get to, and no one wants to start the day with the feeling of dread of having to travel for more than an hour to work. Picture two jobs: one is a mere 20 minutes a way, hell, maybe it’s right downstairs if you’re lucky. Another job is on the other side of the city, and you have to catch two trains and a bus to get there. Comparing the jobs, you get a whole extra hour (maybe more) of sleep. And a well slept worker = a happy one.
- Your workmates.
Okay, so you’ve found a job at a good location, and you’ve taken up the job offer. But are you going to keep the job? Well it all depends on your workmates. It doesn’t matter how shitty or not fulfilling your job is, or how much of a dickhead your boss is, having workmates you can get along with is the key to maintaining a long-term job. Why? Because cool workmates get you through a crappy shift. You can all just b**** about how shitty your job is, how much of a dick your boss is being, or about rude customers. Maybe you’ll even have a cool boss who will join in on the b****.
I had this one job I managed to stay at for a year, which only paid $19 p/h. During the time I was there, I picked up another job paying $23 p/h. I only stayed there for a few months before quitting. Money was the incentive at first, but my workmates at the first job were just so much cooler. Getting through an 8 hour shift was a breeze there, whilst minutes felt like hours at the second job.
- Make sure you can actually balance it with uni.
So many times I’ve been so desperate to get a new job, I’ve simply said yes to all the shifts they requested I do. Not only did I get burnt out quicker, I was starting to fall behind on my uni work and I was skipping lectures (non-compulsory) to attend shifts. I was completing my assignments last minute and it resulted in me having to take time off from work to catch up.
This just wasn’t a good set up because no matter what, your education always comes first. You’ll need it if you want to graduate from your degree, and finally get started on that awesome career you’re waiting to climb up in.
Also, employers don’t like you flaking out on shifts. They hired you in the first place, because they needed a person to work for them during those particular hours and days. So if you’re actually liking the job, you wouldn’t want to lose it because your employer now sees you as unreliable.
- The Pay.
I know I said before the other stuff trumps the pay, but it doesn’t mean it’s not important, Some employers won’t tell you how much you’re getting paid, especially if they don’t intend on paying you a fair wage. And many don’t ask their wage during the interview because they feel rude, or they feel like it’s inappropriate.
This is what I’ve come to realise: It’s not rude! In fact, you are being a responsible employee by getting all the details before you start your job. You have a right to know how much you’ll be getting paid, and no matter how much they talk up the job, and how awesome they make it sound, firstly, know. your. wage.
You don’t want to start the job, get attached, and then leave because the wage is too low for the amount of labour you put it.
- The Job Itself
Even though this isn’t a career, make sure your job is enjoyable. And if not, at least make sure it’s bearable. Say the shifts are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 8am till 5pm. Really make sure that you can go through 24 hours of doing this task every week.
Let me give you an example. I worked at a call center as a telemarketer, where the shifts were a mere 4 hours. My workmates were young and hip, and pretty cool cats overall. The pay was not bad either. But after just two weeks of sitting there, dialing good people to try and get them to donate so that it’d cover my wage (and the charity would get the rest), I wanted to shoot myself in the ear by the 2nd hour of every shift. All I wanted to do was get the f*** home.
So when you’re looking for a job, or going in to an interview for a job, make sure you know exactly what kind of work you’re getting yourself in to. And make sure it’s bearable.
Anyways, that’s my two cents worth. Hopefully it’ll be even mildly helpful to you in your quest to finding the perfect part-time job. Make sure when you do find that awesome job, though, that you don’t become a shopaholic and continuously blow your weekly wage because you’re “SO RICH NOW”. Because nek minnit, you’ll be telling your friends you’re “SO BROKE RIGHT NOW”.
Good luck on your job search!