Having had a few part-time jobs during my time as a student, I wanted to share some advice about how I found these jobs, what to look for and what it’s like to balance other commitments with your university studies.
How to find a job
The first step to working as a student is obviously finding a job that is suitable for your schedule and needs during your studies. First of all, knowing where to look is crucial. I would recommend checking LSE Careers regularly where you can also filter for part-time or casual roles. This is how I have found my part-time jobs, both in internal LSE roles and external companies that were looking for students.
Another great way of finding jobs is to be alert to emails from your department and LSE where occasionally roles like research assistantships are advertised. In one of the emails from LSE, for example, I found out about the role as a student blogger that I am currently doing. Apart from that, it is good to generally keep an ear open when you are interacting with friends and classmates on campus since a lot of positions will be given out by word of mouth.
Personally, I don’t have much experience with other ways of finding part-time jobs and have found the above to be very effective. It is always possible to have a look on LinkedIn or other job search platforms, but there is much more unsuitable content to filter through when doing this. Starting to look at LSE gives you the benefit of knowing that it is a reliable source, too.
What to pay attention to
The working conditions of any job need to match the lifestyle of a student. As far as I’m aware, LSE allows up to 15 hours of part-time work during term time, but this is something you will have to research in advance, especially based on individual visa requirements. This also needs to be clear with your employer at the outset. I have been lucky to work in roles that are very flexible, and I can choose to work according to my own workload and deadlines. Another benefit of working for LSE or the SU is that they will be aware of your workload.
Besides, you should be aware of the pay and the location of the job. Be wary of how much unpaid time the commute adds and how much money you want to or need to earn. Again, the job will ideally allow some flexibility because it is also crucial not to take too much on during your degree since that alone can be stressful enough.
How to balance it with university
My top tip for balancing part-time work with university work is not to take on too much. You also need time for free time. Therefore, when it comes to scheduling work consider when most of your deadlines will likely be and when the workload will be less heavy.
Also, it is okay to cancel work when you feel overwhelmed with your studies. Basically, I have learned that it is sometimes better to underestimate myself and then take on work spontaneously when I am feeling on top of my studies.
Obviously, having a job adds to the difficulty of balancing your studies, socialising, and free time but it is more than possible. All you need is a good organisation system to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed, and when in doubt, prioritise your studies and your mental health.