Work/School Balance

Many college students have jobs. Working is a great way for students to develop transferable skills, which could lead to a job after graduating from college. Here are some tips on finding a job in college and maintaining a balance with your studies:

  1. Look for a job on campus.
    a. You can search online job boards, check out the career center, or look on bulletin boards throughout campus.
    b. Apply for campus jobs early – they get filled FAST!
    c. On campus jobs will be the most flexible with your class schedule because the colleges know that you’re a student first (plus you can usually do homework/reading if you’re slow).
  2. Look for a local company with flexible hours.
    a. Try to work a maximum of 15-20 hours per week. You’re going to be in class approximately 12 hours per week, plus an additional 3-4 hours of study time each week per class.
  3. Plan a schedule that works for you.
    a. If you have an 8 am class and you know that you need at least 8 hours of sleep to function, don’t work a shift that requires you to stay until midnight. Talk to your supervisor if you have concerns about your work schedule, especially if it starts to interfere with your classes.
  4. Get some studying done!
    a. If you have a job with down time, use that time effectively to get some of your readings for class done (get an ok from your supervisor, first!).
  5. Make time for a social life to balance all that work and reduce your stress.
    a. Use a calendar to keep track of your schedule. Fill in all your work schedule, classes, and all other activities at the designated times and try to stick to your schedule as much as possible, but also allow for adjustments as needed.
  6. Build your savings!
    a. One of the cardinal rules of earning an income is that you should be paying yourself first. Set aside a certain percentage of your paycheck for savings, then allot the rest of your money for your other expenses (rent, car, gas, insurance, cell phone, food, clothing, school supplies, etc.). Living off a budget now will help you tremendously once you have your first job post-graduation and are looking to move into your own place.