Benefits of Work Experience

While students can find it quite difficult to juggle a casual job with university it can be very beneficial in more ways than just helping the bank balance:

  • Having several responsibilities means you will hone in on your time management skills, which means when you go to do the task at hand such as studying or writing that essay, your efforts will be focused. Time management is a skill that can be learned and developed, so keep at it.
  • Experience: when it comes to getting a job out of uni, it can be like splitting hairs deciding between one Economics graduate and another. If you can demonstrate that you have held down a job while at university, it shows employers that you can not only manage your time, but also that you’re reliable and that you can be trusted to take on responsibility. With the job market being so competitive any extra experience can make the difference.
  • Independence: A little independence goes a long, long way. Having a casual or part-time job will allow, hopefully, a bit of financial breathing space. Also, going into a new employment situation can widen your friend and network base, which is valuable once you’ve left school and will broaden your horizons.
  • While writing up a CV and cover letter can be a bit of a bore, it is ideal to keep these documents up to date. While your cover letter will have to be tweaked for each individual job, it will pay off in the long run. Try not to send the same cover letter from job to job – it’s a see-through act that will make employers instantly realise you haven’t looked at the job individually.

Because it is difficult to manage work commitments with uni ones, you may want to explore how flexible a job is before you take the offer. You don’t want to find that you’re not doing so well at uni because you have no choice when your boss is getting you to cover extra shifts.

It’s important to know your rights at work as well. It’s a good idea to get your employer to put in writing your job description, an outline of tasks, your wage, how and when you will be paid, and whether you are part-time, casual, etc. If you don’t agree or feel uncomfortable with any of the criteria, speak up before you sign anything.