Extra steps to land that perfect role
Guest post by Jimmy Hartill
It can be difficult to make ends meet in London; especially for students. The cost of living just keeps going up and there’s only so much a student loan will cover. According to research by Save the Student, in 2019 the average monthly living costs for students has skyrocketed to £807.00.
The obvious solution is to try and get a part-time job, either so you can work around your studies or just as a side hustle to support your main gig. But that market still fiercely competitive, with eight out of ten students looking for a part-time job to ease the financial pressures of university life.
But don’t fret! There’s plenty of things you can do to boost your prospects of success when trying to land a side job. Here’s five to get your started.
#1 | Do your Research
Start at the beginning, if you want to find a job, what’s the first thing you do?
You search online to see who’s hiring and where. When looking for a full-time position, you’ll be able to apply in a large number of positions across multiple areas. However, if you’re looking for something part-time as a student, you’ll need to be a little more stringent. Any position you apply for will need to work around your existing schedule and, most likely, have flexible working hours.
Fortunately, there’s been a big push in recent years to add this, with a survey at the start of the year finding that flexible hours was one of the most desired features among employees. If you’re looking for a job that isn’t a zero-hours contract but you want it to work around studies, make sure that what you’re applying for can offer this.
#2 | Get a Driving License
One of the best types of jobs that will fit this bill is delivery work and taxi service apps such as Uber. You’ll have flexibility with what hours you work and the potential for tips too for a bit of extra cash. The only problem is, perhaps with good cause, a lot of people are reluctant to own or drive a car in London. In particular, one of the biggest problems facing anyone hoping to hit the road is that you have to pass your test in one of the busiest cities on the planet with a pretty complicated road system. It can be intimidating for even experienced motorists, for a learner with hackney cabs and expensive super cars zipping around it can be terrifying.
The best way to get around this is, probably, to just learn somewhere a little quieter. Taking your driving lessons in Slough for example gets you a London “lite” experience. Only 20 miles west and you can learn in an environment that’s not got a congestion charge or floods of people to deal with. You can always start outside the city then start practicing within once you’ve got the basics.
#3 | Start Early
If driving isn’t for you, another great avenue to pursue is temporary or seasonal retail work – and the best way to increase your odds of success here is to make sure you start early! Recruiting for these kinds of roles will usually begin a good few weeks before the seasonal time when they are in highest demand. The company will need some time to train new hires up and, even if you have plenty of experience, the positions will be filled as soon as possible so applying early is essential.
The good news is, if you do well in a temporary position one year, you may be offered a continuous part-time job or you’ll have an advantage next year. Which leads into our next point.
#4 | Get Networking
These days, networking is critical to success – in the business world, it’s often who you know that has the most impact on your career path. As you can see in this post from Monster, networking can have a massively positive effect on your career by getting you in touch with the right people, both within your business and outside of it. If you’re looking for part-time jobs, knowing who’s hiring and who to talk to is a major advantage. Particularly if you learn this from a friend who already works there and can put in a good word.
Getting to know which businesses may present an opportunity and getting to know the staff is a good way to get your foot in the door. It also means you’ll have a better chance of securing flexible hours if you have a pre-existing relationship with the individual who’ll be allocating them.\
#5 | Time Management
This is probably the most important thing to bear in mind when looking for a part-time job – make sure that you can actually make time for it. If you’re a student looking to land part-time work, it’s important you still have time to study but your schedule should allow some variable work hours. But if your studies suffer as a result of your work, it can defeat the point of having a part-time job as a side project to help your income.
It’s the simplest piece of the puzzle but make sure you have time to do the job before you accept.
But what do you think? Have any additional tips? Let us know in the comments below!