In previous articles, we have placed a lot of emphasis on the debates surrounding the importance of a work-life balance, but what about the work-study balance? Studying for a degree is incredibly tough, but adding a job into the mix and stress becomes inevitable. If you’re working part-time throughout your time at university, its crucial to find a balance between your job and your studies – after all, you don’t want to jeopardise the outcome of your career for the sake of the short-term financial benefit a part-time role will bring you (even if it seems worth it at the time!).
For many students, working part-time throughout their time at uni is a necessity in order to make ends meet – a lot of the time, student loans don’t quite cut it! So, what can working students do to find a solid balance between the two?
Organise your timetable
The first step you must take when balancing your time between uni and work is to know exactly when you have to be on campus. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your timetable, as this allows you to give your boss your availability regarding when you’re free to work. The worst habit to get in to is missing lectures for a shift you shouldn’t be doing, even if you need that extra bit of cash for the weekend.
Choose a job that fits in with your timetable
Once you’re clear on your timetable, make sure your job is able to work around it. Flexible roles are understandably the most ideal type of positions for students, but unfortunately not every company can offer this. As your studies become tougher, you’ll need a boss who is understanding and willing to work around your academic timetable.
Don’t take a job that demands too much
During the summer, a 20-hour contract is more than do-able. In fact, you’ll probably want even more hours to build up that savings account you drained for your annual week or two in the sun. However, during your studies you need to be clear on how much you can handle, as your degree becomes your main concern. Make sure you have your priorities in order and don’t accept extra shifts out of guilt when you have deadlines looming over your head like a dreaded storm cloud.
Use your time productively
Ironically, having less time to yourself could actually help you get more accomplished. Sitting in the library from 9am, knowing you’ll be stuck there all day has the tendency to drive you to procrastination. On the other hand, getting up at 9am knowing you start work at 3pm is likely to give you the boost you need knowing you have a stricter deadline to complete your tasks for the day. Explore our blog on how you can make your working day more productive.
Don’t forget about the importance of ‘me time’
You’ll undoubtedly feel swamped between the growing mountain of uni work, and the inevitable texts from co-workers asking you to cover their Sunday morning shift. When things start to feel overwhelming, don’t underestimate the power of some relaxation time. It’s easy to guilt-trip yourself into using all your free time to study, but its crucial to find time for yourself and your social life too. This will give you some time to unwind and return to both work and your studies with a clear head.
For many students, a part-time job can’t be avoided. After all, everyone needs some kind of income in order to get by! If you’re at university and looking for work, Stafffinders have a range of part-time, full-time, temporary or permanent positions available. Temporary roles could be perfect if you don’t want to commit to a permanent job, but need some quick income.
Discover our hints and tips for students who are pondering a part-time job: