Why Students should pick up a
Part-time Gig in Service

Starting uni soon? Whether this is a new, exciting chapter in your life or you’re returning for another round, student timetables often allow for the opportunity to pick up a part-time gig.

So we thought we’d go through the best reasons why students should pick up a part-time gig in the service sector! With a little insight and advice from those who did just that during their time at uni.

1. You’ll gain confidence

If you’re usually a shy person, applying for a customer-facing role could be the very thing to help you develop confidence! What better time to push yourself out of your comfort zone than at uni? We say, go for it.

Taking on a part-time job can also prepare you to handle responsibility within a workplace. Lee Hasan worked as a Sales Assistant for a small retail business during her studies. She was there for over a year and got promoted.

“If I was on my own in the store, I had to make all the decisions… learning to do that was so helpful because it boosted my confidence, which helped me when I went into my next, full-time role.”

A student gig gives you the chance to develop your skills, and realise your competency, without the pressure of a full-time, permanent job.

2. The experience will help you for the future

For many, a student job will be your first time in a professional setting. It will comprise your first work relationships and first work contract. A lot of valuable firsts! But even if you’ve worked before, it can still earn you valuable new skills and experiences.

Lee comments on how she learnt to do a lot of things for the first time at her student job.

“Another thing I got experience with was how to talk to a senior person in the company, such as a manager. And to ask questions that might be uncomfortable, like taking holiday or eventually leaving. It was awkward when I had to leave! But I learnt how to do that, because you’re never taught that at school. There are a lot of skills you pick up that you aren’t taught anywhere else…”

Any job will also be helpful in finding future work regardless of whether the two roles are related. Our friend Elijah Laino worked part-time at a dessert cafe, serving up delicious ice cream during his degree.

“Having something on your CV that you can point to and say ‘I’ve experienced a workplace,’ will be an advantage to you. Employers will definitely appreciate the fact that you’ve gone out there and been proactive about your situation, and you found something that you could do to experience being in a workplace.”

Download the Placed App, set up a profile and start matching with jobs.


3. You’ll make new friends!

Spending so much time with your colleagues – through the fun, the gruelling and the weird – it’s hard not to have some laughs and make a few friends along the way!

And if you’re applying for a student job, chances are you’ll be working with people in the same boat. This was definitely the case for Elijah.

“The majority of the workforce there were actually other uni students. So I got to meet quite a few different students, including some who also went to the same university as me but were in different courses, so they weren’t people I’d usually get to talk to. There were definitely some really lovely people who I’m very glad I got to work alongside.”

Students will often make up much of the part-time workforce. Elijah advises looking out for workplaces with students because “it’s just a really positive vibe and atmosphere.” So you can always ask during application what kinds of people you’re likely to be working with!

4. You’ll learn how to manage your own money

Yes, money is often a key motivator for students to pick up a job! But the benefits of earning a bit of your own are more than just material. Becoming more financially independent and choosing how to spend your money can not only be a liberating feeling, but money-management is a skill that will stead you well beyond uni.

Lee mentions what this sense of independence meant to her personally:

“It was that period of time transitioning from being a teenager to becoming an adult. Being able to have that money knowing I made it myself was really beneficial to me feeling independent.”

“You also feel like you have the freedom to spend your money how you want because you made it yourself! For me, it was a personal decision to find work. And knowing that I’d be leaving that environment soon enough, it was a transition period that helped me in that sense as well.”

5. It’s something to do that’s NOT studying

Just like any other extra-curricular activity, a part-time gig can be a refreshing break from being up to your nose in books in the library or preparing that presentation. It gives you something to focus on that’s not your degree, and is often more hands-on (so utilises different parts of your brain!).

It’s a good way to take your mind off of studies – or any drama! – whilst still being productive and knowing that you’re benefiting your wallet, your mind and your future self.

You’ll also find that your time management skills will drastically improve as you break your routine up into separate focuses, which is something you can show off to future employers.

6. Finally, you’ll be humbled

We’ve all been served by people. Cashiers, waitstaff, sales assistants.

Being on the other side of service can be rewardingly humbling as it teaches you about patience, compassion and kindness. Even at their jobs, servers are people first who deserve respect. Walking a mile in their shoes can broaden your perspective and help you appreciate the hard work of everyone who works in service!

To browse hundreds of part-time jobs in your area from well-respected, trusted employers, check out Placed app! Download it here.