Having a part-time job as a student means you get to work flexible hours and make extra money. With expenses such as rent, food, clothes, stationery, textbooks, transport and socialising, being a student comes at a price.

Gaining some work experience early on can be beneficial. BrazenCareerist.com reports that many ambitious young adults disregard the value of work experience because they’ve had jobs that have no connection to their future plans. It adds that young adults do not realise that working can teach you many valuable lessons.

Kaliso Zulu, a law student who works part-time at a law firm, says, “I got offered the job I am currently doing and accepted it purely to gain work experience and not so much for the money. I felt the practical experience will be an added bonus next to the theoretical experience that I will have by the time I graduate. Although the job I am currently doing is not related to my major or interest, I am learning a great deal by being exposed to the working environment.” Getting a job before you graduate means that you will not have to leave out the work experience part in your CV when applying for your chosen career.

Although the idea of making a little extra cash may seem appealing, beware that it can interfere with your studies. Not giving your books the amount of time and focus they require can result in poor academic performance. Lydia Mello, a third-year education student who works at the university’s call centre, says, “I decided to work part time because I wanted to be financially independent, university life is not easy. However, it does become an inconvenience at times when I have to do school projects. I try to balance school and work as much as possible. I choose work hours that do not clash with my class time and pay more attention towards my school work.”

Balance coupled with time management are vital aspects when it comes to working while studying. Failing one or two modules is a major loss. You are left with the added expense of having to repeat that module.

When opting for a part-time job, bear in mind that you will be exposed to treatment that may be biased. Depending on the type of person that you are, facing such situations can either make or break you.

By the time we graduate most already have student and government loans waiting to be paid off. Having a part-time job helps you to cut down on the amount of loans that you take out compared to someone who does not have a job. The less you owe the quicker you can begin to pay off your loans. Consequently, you can quickly start enjoying your salary and sipping margaritas by the beach.


Photo: Brendan Fraser 

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