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What are some realistic jobs to look for as a full-time student?

I'm going to school in Boston for the upcoming school year, and even though I didn't qualify for a work study, I'm going to need to work during the school year to be able to make it through college without excessive amounts of debt. I don't want to sacrifice all of my time outside of classes to a job and I would appreciate some flexibility in scheduling, but in the end it will come down to whatever is available. What kind of jobs did you work in college? Which ones would you recommend and are there any you would say to avoid?

#school #college #working #fulltimestudent #jobs


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Ken’s Answer

The type of jobs that you find are the types of jobs that you seek. To be most helpful, jobs that you hold in high school and college should be related to your career area of interest. This will not only provide money, but it will also allow you to see the inside view of the career area and develop networking contacts that will help you to find a suitable full time job upon graduation. Here are some helpful steps:

  • determine what your suitable career area might be
  • call or visit (do not text, email, or message) the person at your high school or college who tracks alumni and ask to be introduced to people who are working in your career area of interest to get some career exposure and see if they might have a part time job
  • call or visit the reference librarian at your local library to find information about professional associations to which people in your career area of interest belong, so that you can get the name of the association and a contact person and then contact that person by phone or visit (again do not text, message, or email) to arrange to attend a meeting and meet people in that career area and explore the possibility of working for one of the member companies.

Ken recommends the following next steps:

Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .
The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##

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Michelle’s Answer

Hi, Emily B. When I was in college, I started out working part time in retail in a shoe department at a medium sized department store. I went to school full time in the day and worked at night. I did that for one semester. I than went on work study which you said you didn't qualify for. At different semesters, I had two great work study jobs, both in my field of study.


I found that working retail while going to college full time was fine. You may also look into clerical work which may be more physically comfortable. Avoid sales jobs because you want a paycheck and many sales jobs are fickle and not consistent with pay. I put more energy into my classes than I did at my job. You may find that it's what happens. I would also avoid food service jobs because they are usually very hectic and require a lot of energy. In any case, I also discourage working around alcohol as well. Try to get a job that won't tire you much and something that you will feel a bit of enjoyment with and has a positive atmosphere.


Keep applying for work study though, because you may be able to get a job on campus (as I did) and that will save on commuting to and from school to work. I had good energy balancing both work and school and it's not something you think about beforehand but it did work out for me.


If you will also be living in Boston, there should be a lot of jobs available as it is a major city. Best wishes to you in your future endeavors !


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