17 answers

Is it time for me to get a part time job?

Asked Santa Clarita, California

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

17 answers

Laura’s Answer

Updated Los Angeles, California
Briana, I'm sure a lot of your peers can relate to this dilemma and it's great that you've thought through what your options are and started weighing the pros/cons of each scenario. Unfortunately there's not one answer in this case but I would like to offer you some suggestions to consider. As a student, I believe your coursework should come as a priority; however, getting a part-time job and managing the two is also a valuable skill to begin working on. If it's necessary to get a part-time job, consider something that could be related to psychology, STEM, or other fields you're considering, this may turn out to be a good way to gain some insight as you are exploring different majors.
Updated
Thank you for responding, however the jobs I'm looking at will most likely be unrelated to my coursework out of need to simply work. For example, place my parents have recommended are Walmart, Popeyes, or Micheals. Perhaps, with my own prior experience, I could try looking for a tutoring position. Anyways, thank you again and have a nice night!
Updated
Briana, Even if the jobs seem to be unrelated there are probably aspects of the job that will teach you valuable skills such as managing your time in order to complete school work on top of a job, how to interact with people, and others work styles. Those type of skills will be crucial in any type of position in the future!

Kevin M.’s Answer

Updated
My recommendation would be the experience of any possible job can only help you to grow. You will have to determine how much time you can dedicate to any such endeavor so as to still meet your educational goals. If you don't need the money, think about the possibilities for internships or volunteer work that broaden your portfolio of experiences making you more attractive to prospective future employers.
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Unfortunately, it would look like I do need the money, so while an internship or volunteering would be ideal, it's doesn't seem possible in my finanacial situation or my position as a community college student. It simply seems though, what I understand is to get out there for the experience and practicing time management for the future. Thank you for the suggestion and have a nice night!

Candace’s Answer

Updated McLean, Virginia
Briana, 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.
Updated
Thank you for the other option, though work on campus would be difficult to find. Early last semester, I tried to apply as a "campus helper" but later discovered I could not with my current schedule or change it. Perhaps with my open day, I'll try again this upcoming semester to see if it will stick, and try to ask around for any other opportunities. Thank you and have a nice night!
Updated
Briana, You may want to consider virtual positions if you can. My daughte is a Chemical Engineering student and she has a heavy work load but she wanted to earn money working. She found a virtual assistant job online. She works less than 20 hours a week. It's mostly creating PowerPoint and Word documents online but it gives her a little income and she has something to add to her resume. Best of luck to you

Gregory’s Answer

Updated New York, New York
Part time jobs are a great way to learn how to manage your time prior to entering the job market. When you're in high school or college, your part time job will provide you with extra money and the ability to learn how to juggle school work, friendships, parents, relationships, vacations and your job. The better you get at managing your time, the easier the transition will be when you begin to work full time.

Keith’s Answer

Updated Houston, Texas
Briana, 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.
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Got it! Thank you for responding and have a nice night!

John’s Answer

Updated
i believe you need to find a balance that works for you. It is important to make sure you focus on your studies and get high grades. In my opinion the grades will be more important in the long run than any work experience while in school, unless it is related to your degree. If you are looking to earn some additional income, a work study program is the way to go, as others have commented. Best of luck to you.
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Thank you and have a nice night!

Jennifer’s Answer

Updated New York, New York
Hi Briana 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.
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Thank you, this is exactly what I want to try and find because it seems to be the best fit for any full time student on campus. I had tried to apply last semester, but due to my schedule then, it wouldn't work out. As I start the new semester this week, I'll be sure to look around to see if I could work on campus. Have a nice day!

John’s Answer

Updated
I would recommend that you focus the majority of your energy and focus to getting your education and learning as much as you can. you will have plenty of time to work in the future and get experience but now the most important thing is to get a good education to spring you forward into your future.
Updated
Thank you for your advise and I will take it close to heart. However, I am in a position where it appears to be that it is necessary for me to help support my parents, even by a bit. Thank you again and have a nice night!

Rachel’s Answer

Updated

You will need to focus on stress and time management. In order to manage stress you have to manage your time wisely. <span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>



Paris’s Answer

Updated
Hi Briana, This is a tough decision as it sounds like your coursework is a priority to you (as it should be). However, having part-time jobs or internships while in college can really help you once you are graduated and entering the workforce. If I were you, I would try to get a part-time job at the college you go to. Working at your college means they will most likely understand your schedule and be willing to work with you. I worked as a tutor at my community college and loved it! #college
Updated
Thank you and I will be trying again this semester to see if it works. Now that you mention it, I could go into tutoring since I already carry experience from volunteering in high school. Have a nice day!
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Glad I could help!

Christine’s Answer

Updated Washington, Washington
Hi Briana, 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.
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Thank you for the suggestion and have a nice day!

Denise’s Answer

Updated Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

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.        

Robert’s Answer

Updated Beacon, New York

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.

Drew’s Answer

Updated Denver, Colorado

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.

Drew recommends the following next steps:

  • Go to some interviews and see if you can find an ideal fit for a part time job that you might be interested in.

Diana’s Answer

Updated

I was a student while working at Marsh & McLennan on 9/11.   I took the internship/job to gain experience and also secure future opportunities while working there.   Even though, I went through a tragic even while working there as a student I can say that I am grateful that I did work while completing my studies.   The work experience helped me mature and I became a manager before I was 30 years old.  Overall, I recommend working while in school since it will lead you to opportunities faster in life, gain exposure and maturity.   Good luck and hope this advice helped!

Elena’s Answer

Updated
Brianna, I would suggest that you get a part time job. It doesn't have to be 20 hrs per week. It can be 8 hours per week. I would suggest that you find a position that can be used to prove your skillset for the work you plan to do when you graduate. You don't state what career you are working toward. If you have a career goal, you can volunteer at an organization that may give you experience and a better understanding of the industry or customer base you would be working with. You will then be able to communicate more effectively about the organizations you interview and prove the value you can bring to their organizations, based on what you learn in your volunteer or work time.

Dom’s Answer

Updated
Briana, Your education should of course be your number 1 priority, however being able to juggle school and a job will prepare you for the real world where you don't always get to choose your workload. For example, most people carry a full time job and manage the responsibilities of parenthood. Having the work experience will also look good on a resume and a potential employer may value the work ethic. I would seriously consider at least trying it out and putting forth a real effort. You can always quit if it becomes too much.
Updated
Alright, I'll simply go out there and do it, but never be afraid to admit it's too much, if such a case presents itself. Thank you for responding and have a nice night!