It’s no big secret that college is expensive and that college students are usually broke.
You’re already trying to juggle classes, studying, and partying, so just the idea of taking on a part-time job may seem impossible. But working while you’re in college has some serious benefits that you can’t ignore.
For starters, you’ll have some extra pocket money. You’ll gain some valuable work experience (which will only help when you graduate and need to find a full-time job). And you can network and makes connections that can be helpful in the future.
But you can’t just take any job – you need one that’s a good fit for your schedule and your lifestyle.
The best college jobs are the ones that offer flexible hours, provide an opportunity to learn and network, and are close to campus. On-campus jobs are ideal because you don’t even have to leave school grounds. But they’re popular, competitive, and can be hard to come by.
If you want to work in college, don’t be afraid to look for a job off campus. Here are 5 off-campus jobs that are ideal for college students.
Working as a barista in a local coffee shop or a Starbucks is the ideal job for a college student. One of the best benefits? Free coffee! But in addition to all the caffeine you can handle, you’ll enjoy flexible hours, customer tips, and the opportunity to meet tons of people. It’s also a comfortable environment that’s perfect for studying in when you’re on your break or when your shift is over.
If you want to land a sweet part-time as a barista in a coffee shop, drop off a resume in person. Just make sure that you go at a time that’s not too busy. If you hand over your resume in the middle of the morning rush, it might get tossed aside and never considered at all.
2. Wait Staff
Waiting tables isn’t easy work – but it’s a great way to make some extra money. For many adults, their first job as a waiter or waitress is often looked at as a rite of passage. And the nicer the place you work in, the more money you’ll make.
Working on a wait staff will provide valuable experience that you can take with you into any job you work in the future. You will learn how to juggle several things at a time and prioritize what’s most important. You will learn how to work under pressure. You’ll learn a bit about sales, and you’ll learn a lot about customer service.
Restaurants (especially the good ones that are always busy) are almost always looking for help. If you need to get your foot in the door, consider starting as a dishwasher or a bar back to prove how responsible and reliable you are.
3. Administrative Assistant
If you can find a part-time role as an administrative assistant in an office, jump on it. Working in an office setting offers valuable experience, and future employers will be impressed when they see that on your resume.
Depending on what opportunities are available, try to find a job with a company that you may want to work for when you graduate. You can build connections, create relationships with future bosses, and get an understanding of what the company is all about.
Pick a few companies nearby campus and get in touch with their HR department. Ask if they ever hire college students for part-time work. You may hear a lot of “no”, but all you need is one yes to get your career moving in the right direction.
Grade schools, middle schools, and high schools often hire college students to work as tutors. It’s a great way to interact with the community, make a few extra bucks, and share your knowledge with students who need a little extra help.
Look for a tutoring job related to your major and you’ll enjoy an added bonus. If you’re a math major, tutoring students in algebra or calculus can help you stay sharp and keep abreast of the fundamentals of your field. If you’re an English major, helping students with grammar and sentence construction can help you become a better writer.
Contact a few schools, let them know that you’re a local college student, and ask if they’re looking for any tutors. You can earn some money, gain valuable experience, and help influence younger students in a positive manner.
5. Babysitter or Caretaker
Babysitting is a great job that can put a nice amount of cash in your pocket. It’s also ideal if you’re planning on entering the field of healthcare or hospitality management.
Not that into the idea of spending time with children? Go the other route and look for a job in a nursing home where you can help take care of the elderly instead. Working as a caretaker can be a rewarding experience like none other. To get started, sign up for an account with Care.com or similar website.
Why It’s Worth It
Working in college will certainly put some extra money in your pocket, but that’s not the only reason it’s a good idea. As a college student, you have to start building a professional network, and the easiest way to do that is to take on a part-time job or two.
You can make connections. You can build relationships that could be beneficial in the future. And you can earn experience that you can take with you as you embark on your career.
Look for jobs that are close to campus. Look for jobs that can offer you a flexible schedule. And look for jobs that offer the opportunity to learn new skills and network. As a barista, babysitter, waiter, tutor, or admin assistant, you can build that resume with useful skills that you can use in lots of different fields.
And you’ll have a little bit of extra money to boot.
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