Should you work part time while studying at uni?


Whether to work while studying at university is something students ask our Careers Team about a fair bit, but it's really down to personal choice and circumstances. Here are some things to think about when deciding whether to take up a part-time role.

What are the benefits to working part time?

You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons yourself, but consider some of the benefits to working while at uni:

  • You’ll gain valuable work experience for your CV, especially if you haven’t had a job before
  • You’ll learn transferable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, communication, customer service, etc.
  • You’ll be able to show prospective employers that you can successfully manage your time 
  • You could make connections for future employment
  • You’ll gain confidence and independence
  • You’ll be able to experience life outside of the bubble of uni
  • You’ll earn extra cash
Did you know?
Over 70% of graduates had a part-time job while studying at LJMU.

(source: Employment and Career Prospects Survey 2017)

What are the best jobs for students?

You'll have your own criteria for finding a suitable part-time role, but here are a few general things to keep in mind when choosing a job:

1. Make sure your new job won’t interfere too much with your studies; you need to be able to maintain a good work-study balance (and don’t forget to factor in spare time to do the things you enjoy in life as well).

2. Work out how much time you can realistically give to a job and be clear about those hours when applying; don’t promise an employer more hours than you can give.

3. Ideally you should choose a job that’ll help you progress in terms of your career goals – something relevant to the field you’d like to enter, but if that’s not possible, most part-time jobs will give you useful skills and experience, it’s just a matter of being able to convey how those skills are relevant to a future employer.

4. Ensure you pick a job that you enjoy so you’re not feeling stressed, tired or unfulfilled while at work – you need to feel at your best to tackle your studies and your temporary job shouldn’t get in the way of what you ultimately want to do with your life.

5. Consider times of the academic year when you will need to cut back on your hours, such as exam revision – ensure your employer will be understanding and flexible during these times.

6. Do you really need a regular job? If you can get by with taking on a temporary role, either in the summer or during Christmas break, there are plenty of employers that offer jobs during their busy periods.

“I got a part-time job as a customer assistant at a supermarket in my second year at university and my communication skills just changed completely. That more than anything was really important when I faced interviews in the future as I was much more confident and able to articulate myself better.”

– Noshin Rahman, Biomedical Science graduate

Where can you find a part-time job?

Alongside searching online job sites, registering with recruitment agencies and pounding the pavement, LJMU students have a few more options for finding the right job:

  • Log in to LJMU’s digital careers tool site to search for part-time (as well as full-time) opportunities 
  • Check the Liverpool John Moores University Students’ Union website for a wide range of roles on offer within the Students’ Union
  • Our Careers Team helps students find part-time work, call in to one of our Careers Zones for advice
  • Download our handy mini guide for information and advice on finding a part-time job

Prefer to volunteer? Check out our volunteering section to find an opportunity that fits in with your interests and ambitions.


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