Hello there! I would like to welcome you back to my blog, this time I’ll talk about working during your studies.
Let’s dive in…
Whether you will need to work or not, will obviously depend on your personal financial situation, but for most students, part-time work is essential. Luckily, there are many student jobs around Guildford, I’d suggest to start by deciding what kind of job you’d like to go for and start searching online. But don’t forget to be open minded, some specific jobs can be hard to get into without previous experience and might not be available all year through. What is more, this might seem obvious, but do wait until you know your timetable before agreeing to work on Thursdays every week when you have 6 hours of lectures. That would not be the best way to spend your time at Surrey University.
Okay, a few more things to keep in mind with your job search is perks over payment, amount of working hours and their flexibility and finally – knowing your rights as a student worker.
What I mean with perks over payment is that some jobs might offer great perks like paid breaks, free food, coffee (you’ll need it) and other benefits, but offer a minimum hourly rate. While the other company might not provide paid breaks (it’s usually not paid in case you wondered), free food? you get a generous 20% staff discount, but, and here’s the caveat, you get paid 20p more than minimum hourly rate. If you are looking purely at the wage, the latter is a better offer right? Right…?
Another thing I’ve mention is the amount of working hours and flexibility that a job provides. This one is very important, you have to consider how many hours you can take on to make ends meet, most students go for about 20 hours a week. Don’t take a full-time job while you are studying, thinking you’ll be ‘loaded’. While some people might be able to pull it off, eventually your studying will suffer. There are many great things going on Surrey University, so it’s best to spend that time getting to know other people, joining a society or sports club, volunteering and thoroughly engaging in your studies, but I digress… Work flexibility is also beneficial when you’ve got assessments and exams knocking on your door and a good job can take you off of work for a week or two, to give you time for your deadlines.
Finally, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS PEOPLE! Unfortunately, I have witnessed employers bullying and manipulating students into working extra hours and unknown to the student, adding more hours to their rota and pressing them that “it’s on the rota mate/love, you’ve gotta work if you want to keep this job” and all of that nonsense. Sadly, this kind of management is still around in our society, but one way you can fight it, is by knowing your rights! In the UK, the fact that you are a student is an important and indisputable fact and they cannot pressure you to come to work when you’ve got lectures or university meetings. Obviously, it depends on the type of contract you sign before starting work, but if you’ve got a part-time, 15h a week job – you shouldn’t take any bullying.
If you don’t need to work during your studies, then I’d suggest you strongly consider volunteering. At the university there are many great causes to volunteer for and help out people in need, get to know people outside of your course and be a part of an excellent community!
That’s it for today! I look forward to writing another blog, next time I’ll provide a few tips on getting involved with our lovely community and making a difference!