Working through college earns you some extra cash and allows you to accumulate invaluable experience that can put you ahead of the competition when it comes time to land a full-time job after graduation. Check out this article to find out more about the benefits of finding a part-time job during your college years.

The job market for graduates is more competitive than ever. Once you take off that cap and gown and step into the “real” world, your education alone may not be enough to land you a job. In today’s economy, a lot of highly qualified people are job hunting unsuccessfully. The competition is fierce, and traditional ways of getting ahead don’t always work. After all, everybody sends out resumes and attends job fairs. The key to acquiring the necessary skills is to start developing them as soon as possible, and college is the perfect moment to start.

Even though required skills differ depending on the position you are applying for, there are a few universal skills every employer looks for: adaptability, being a team player, positivity, project management, and people skills. Fortunately, you can easily learn these skills by finding a part-time job while you’re still in school. Sure, it will be tough to juggle through a full course-load, a social life, and another 20 hours of work every week. Nonetheless, the benefits of a part-time job for students are definitely worth the effort.  

Experience

Gaining work experience during your college years tells future employers that you are always looking for ways to challenge yourself and grow professionally. Even a simple internship will show a potential employer that you’re able to handle yourself in an office environment. This can set you apart from other new graduates seeking jobs, and increases your chances of getting a job.

Finding a job that relates to your degree is ideal; however, any type of job shows that you aren’t afraid of hard work.  For instance, retail is a popular choice for college students. Working in retail will allow you to gain sales experience, which is important to future employers, and shows that you are good with people and have the ability to sell a product or service. Furthermore, if you manage to graduate with good grades while holding down the job, potential employers are bound to be impressed.

People Skills

By getting a job while still in college you will learn how to interact with colleagues or supervisors in a professional environment. If you have to deal with clients, that’s even better; you will likely develop strong communication skills, patience with others, negotiation skills, and the ability to persuade others. All these attributes are well-perceived by potential employers.

Learning how to deal with difficult co-workers or bosses will also benefit you in the long run. If you are able to hold down a job, you will also show future employers that you have the knowledge required to conduct yourself properly at the office – good manners, empathy, listening skills and so on.

Time Management Skills

Having a job while still in college forces you to schedule time carefully so that you’ll be able to attend your classes, squeeze in some work hours and also meet your friends for a couple of drinks at the end of the night. If you don’t learn how to prioritize your schedule and take control of your time early on, you might end up neglecting either your studies, or your job.

Time management skills will come in handy later on, especially if you find yourself in a demanding position. When deadlines are piling up and you have a seemingly never-ending to-do list to deal with, time management skills will be your best ally.  

Money Management Skills

You won’t learn how to manage your money overnight. Additionally, no one is suggesting that you should fully support yourself during college. If your parents want to chip in, welcome and appreciate their nice gesture. However, by taking responsibility for some of your personal expenses, such as entertainment costs or cell phone bills, you will slowly learn to budget, holding on to your paycheck for a longer period of time. If you never pay a bill or earn some extra cash during college, how will you be able to figure out your finances once you land your first job? You’ll also be thankful to have that extra cash in your personal checking account.

Reduce College Debt

College tuition is more expensive than ever, so the interest rate on your student loans may easily keep you up at night for many years after you graduate. There’s also the possibility that you won’t land a high-paying job right away. Instead, you’ll have to work your way up. A part-time job gives you the perfect opportunity to set aside some money every month that should go towards paying off your debt. When it’s time to start paying back loans, you will already have a substantial amount of money saved up to rely on.

Balancing college and a job can be challenging, but it also offers many benefits. You don’t have to start looking for a job right after you set foot on campus – giving yourself a semester or two to get used to college life is advisable. However, when the adjustment period is over, it’s time to start thinking about your future. 

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Tags: College Debt, Finding a job, Human Resources, Money Management, finding a part-time job, job after graduation, job for students, job hunting, job market, part-time job, More…time management, work experience

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