Careers Advice

How to manage university, a part-time job and still have a great social life...

My name is Imy, and I’m currently a third year Business Management Student at the University of Liverpool. Believe it or not... I work in marketing for 16 hours a week, keep on top of my university studies, and still manage to have a great social life!!

Sounds impossible right?  

Firstly, there are many benefits that come with working part-time while studying at university or college. (It’s not just about the extra cash... believe or not!! ) 


Money Money Money  

  • We all know being a student is expensive, so some extra spending money could go a long way. (Most probably towards takeaways, pub nights, fancy dress outfits and nights out!) 
  • Having this extra cash means you can say ‘Yes’ to more plans with friends, and you can worry less about budgeting your student loan. 


Makes you more Employable... 

  • Having a part-time job while you are studying demonstrates to employers that you can balance studying, whilst also working. This is something to emphasise when you are talking to future employers! 
  • You can gain Employability Skills such as time management, prioritisation, and communication which graduate employers will look for in students when it comes to applications and interviews. 


Boosts your CV 

  • Getting experience in the world of work is great to add to your CV.  
  • Most employers now will expect you to have some work experience. Most of the time it won’t matter what industry this is in as employers just want to know you have experienced a work environment. 
  • However, finding a job in your subject area could be very beneficial to your studies! 
  • Make sure you keep track of your work experience and make note of any important skills or experiences you have on your CV. This will make it so much easier when it comes to applying for jobs after your studies. 


Improves your Time Management  

  • Learning how to juggle your studies, a job, and a social life is a great skill to have, and one that you will use in your future career. 
  • Some students find that they do better in their studies when they have a job because it means they must carefully plan out their time to fit everything in. 


Insight and Exposure into the workplace and different industries... 

  • Getting a job can help you gain insight and experience into a new industry, whether that is hospitality, retail, recruitment, marketing, sales and so on... 
  • This experience can be valuable to your future career decisions. You might find the industry you want to work in after your studies, so you could gain useful knowledge and experience!  
  • On the other hand, you may realise that you don’t want to work in a particular industry, after your experience working within it. This is also valuable as it can help shape your future career choices. 


Meet New People 

  • Having a part-time job means you get to meet even more people, and maybe even make some great friendships outside of your university circle. 
  • Jobs such as bar work, waitressing, and ticket selling can be really sociable, so you might not even feel like you’re at work! 


Now that you’ve heard about the advantages of working while you’re studying, here are my top tips and advice on how to balance your job around your studies... 


Make sure the job is right for you... 

  • Before applying for any job, make sure that you check out things such as location, hours, timings, pay. There’s no point getting all the way to an interview and realising that you can’t actually do the job! 
  • Don’t overcommit. Take time to consider what hours you can work per week before you commit. Also, if you’re planning on going home in the holidays, make sure you factor this into your job search, or ask the employer what their policies are. 


Use a calendar to plan ahead 

  • Get organised! Sounds simple, but using a calendar is a very useful time management tool. 
  • I use my phone calendar which also connects to my laptop, so I can access it and add to it at any time. 
  • At the start of term, add all your study deadlines to the calendar so you can plan your studying accordingly. Also don’t forget to add any important social dates too! 
  • Once you have a job, add your shift timings for the week to the calendar, and then you can see the gaps in your week for studying and downtime. 


Prioritise what’s most important 

  • For me, prioritisation is the key to successfully balancing my time. 
  • Each week make a list of tasks you need to do for your studies and work, and then rank these in order of importance.  
  • You can use your calendar to compare deadlines and other important dates to help you prioritise. 


Don’t miss your lectures! 

  • Remember the reason why you are studying... don’t let a part-time job get in the way of your study time. 
  • If you’re finding that your part-time job is preventing you from attending your classes, have a chat with your boss to see if you can change or reduce your hours. 
  • If you are at university, remember, you are paying £9,250 a year to study, so it is in your best interests to attend your lectures and seminars!  
  • (I worked out 1 hour of university costs me £30.83!!! Why don’t you check out how much it would cost you...


Have some quality “me” time  

  • I can’t stress how important taking a bit of downtime is, while your studying and working part-time. Don’t wear yourself out, as this can have a negative impact on your studies and your mental health. 
  • Make sure that you are still able to do the things you enjoy at least a few times a week. Whether that is sports, music, socialising with friends, or having a nice relaxing bath. You have earned it!! 

Get enough sleep 

  • This one might seem obvious, but it is easy to forget how important sleep is when you’re juggling studying, working part-time and a social life. 
  • Getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night is crucial, and trust me, you will feel much better for it. 


Don’t suffer in silence... 

  • When things start to get on top of you this is when the balance can start to become unstable. 
  • Try to avoid becoming stressed by talking to your boss and tutors ASAP. As soon as you start noticing that you’re struggling with keeping a balance, tell someone. 
  • Make sure you talk to friends and family too; they might have helpful advice and ideas on how to balance your time more effectively. 


I hope these tips have helped you think about ways you can balance a part-time job with your studies, so you can still have a fun social life! 

If you are looking for a part-time job, why don’t you head over to our jobs page...