Is it time for me to get a part time job?
My name is Briana and I'll be starting my second year at my community college this upcoming fall semester. I'll be taking thirteen units and my parents have been recently pushing me to apply for a job with nods to "we're hiring" signs. I understand with my age I should be working, but I'm not sure if it would be healthy for me, the amount of coursework I'm taking and confusion I continue to have gearing toward a specific major. I know I need to focus on choosing something to plan out the next three years, but I don't think I can with usual coursework and a job to worry about.
I understand the extra cash would help and my parents want me to have some type of work experience, but I don't want to burn out from stress coming through each direction especially as a horrible multitasker. Thank you for responding and have a nice day! #first-generation-college-students #community-college #psychology #work-life-balance #women-in-stem #japan
Kevin M.’s Answer
I think you've received great feedback and opinions on your question. I wanted to share that I went through this while in college as well. I received a job at the admissions office of my university. This was a great job because it didn't add so much stress to my average day, but allowed me to have an income on the side. The admissions office was staffed by all students so we had very flexible schedules and were able to schedule 10-12 hours a week in between classes or whenever you could. I really enjoyed the job as well since I was speaking with potential incoming students and sharing my opinions about the school. I think if you find a job which is more enjoyable and perhaps on-campus, then you might find it easier to fit into your schedule. I also think I learned great skills by managing school and work - that experience is priceless and many don't have the opportunity or don't choose to pursue it. I would suggest to try and find an on-campus job and see how it goes - do not pressure yourself if you get overwhelmed though.
Best of luck to you.
I can relate to this as my daughter is in the same situation. As an engineering student at Clemson. I encouraged her to get a part time job to get acclimated to the work force. Due to her work load she was very leery of adding anything else to her plate. She found a work study at the school. She only works a few hours a day. She's gaining experience to put on her resume, as well as making money and finding a work life balance before she enters the workforce full time. As Laura sad there is not one answer to the question but considering a work study job might be a option.
Keith Treadaway, PMP
Education should be your number 1 priority, but you can supplement that with some real work experience. I have always been a fan of working and going to school. You can learn a lot not only on the job, but also with balancing priorities. If you decide to look for a job while attending school, it will be important to make sure it strikes the right mix so it in not a distraction. Best of luck.
Hi Briana - Like you I attended a junior/community college and was carrying a heavy course load. I was able to find a job working in the college cafeteria. The manager was pretty flexible with scheduling to work around my course load, etc. There might be open positions that may be a good option for you since you are already on campus and that can work around your classes. Also, some of the benefits of working while in college was, it took my mind of some of the stress of the course work as I had to focus on the job I was doing and during the slow periods it allowed me to think about what I wanted to do or the courses I wanted to take next as well as, gave me some spending money and covered some expenses. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
I can definitely relate to this dilemma. I worked 25-35 hours a week during my four years of undergrad followed immediately by two more years of grad school. It is a lot to take a full load of courses while also working, especially when the work is primarily geared toward helping you live today as opposed to giving you experience related the field you are studying. It is definitely challenging, but I know that it can be done if needed and have several friends who were in a similar situations and who have gone on to succeed in their careers after graduating.
Two things I would highlight, though: 1) It will likely be difficult to work a full time job during fall and spring semesters, but if it would be possible to work more hours during the summer, definitely consider that option. 2) The one thing I regret most about undergrad was not taking more internships that would have given me experience in the fields I was studying to understand if I would truly like that line of work. I understand that it can be difficult, but if you're able to find even unpaid internships during the summer (or potentially during the academic year) I would seriously consider those, even if it means you have to work a paid job on top of that at the same time. The experience internships will give you is invaluable, so do not underestimate them. And if you're able to do one each of the summers you have left before graduating, that's even better.
Best of luck! I'm confident you'll find a way to make it through.
The key to both is prioritizing. In your case you need to figure out what to do in regards to balancing a part time job while you feel you are still managing a full college semester.
You first have to keep in mind the ultimate goal is to succeed in your education that will lead to future prosperity and a career. Therefore if you need to take a part-time job and you do not have the luxury to do an internship or a job related to your interest like psychology or computer science then taking a job that will allow you the flexibility you need to not lose focus of pursuing your education is ideal. Furthermore, work experience is beneficial even outside the realm of what your interest are. It can grow other skill sets that can help you in your school work and future endeavors. Ultimately, it will help grow you in time management, but always remember to prioritize school first and make sure that is understood when you are applying for a job.
One additional thought, if you need a job but are worried about balancing school work and a part time job, look at your campus. Most schools have what they call "work study" opportunities where they have already built in the understanding that you are a student first and may want a chance to work. You can check with your school administrators for an on campus work study opportunity.
If you choose to look for a job - keep an eye out for places that are willing to give you less than 20 hours a week, jobs near your college campus that way you can cut down on commuting time, and places that employ other students (this way you know they're willing to be flexible with your schedule and understand the demands of being a student).
A lot of colleges have student jobs on campus that you can apply for like working in the library or in an administrative building - these are often harder to come by, but they're great because there's often a lot of down time (that is, time to do homework at work) and have flexible schedules.
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My kids experienced something similar. I highly encourage it. Education should be your primary responsibility, but, having a job will provide you with other real life experience. Earning money, financial responsibility, time management, customer experience, broadening your interaction with people, etc. If you can find an employer where you are learning something different while balancing your education, I think it would be very beneficial to you. Good luck.
Hello, my advice would be to give it a try. You can make an attempt and get the experience. Its not going to be easy but you will learn. Thats your main objective right now at this time in your life is to learn as much as you can. You will get some interviewing experience as well. If is too much and you arent able to manage everything then you will have learned where your limits are. You may find that having a part time job will give you relief from the stress of all your school work. Also your parents will be proud of you for trying even if it doesnt work out.
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