If you’ve decided to get a part-time job whilst at university it can be a difficult to work out what industry will best suit you. There are so many factors to consider when deciding what path to take; you should take into account experience, how it will work around your course and what works best for your personality. I’ve decided to make this a weekly feature looking at the pros and cons of different jobs you can have part-time whilst getting on with your studies. As I have worked in the hospitality industry on and off for three years now, I felt that was the best one to start with.
How do I find a job? There are so many ways to go about finding a job in hospitality. Most universities will have on-campus bars and restaurants which they will hire students to work at and there are also off-campus places that you can apply to. I worked at a restaurant in the town centre, luckily, they were understanding that I was a student and I would need to put my studies first and that I’d want to go home for the holidays. If you are worried about this, it may be best to get a job on-campus as they may be more understanding that you are a student however I wouldn’t rule out branching out so as to have more options. There are many ways to go about finding a job in this industry; you can try take your CV straight into the establishment and ask if they have any jobs available, but they also usually advertise online whether on their own website or job site like Indeed.
Positives of working in hospitality: I found the perks of working in this industry attracted me to a job like this. As well as a set wage, you can earn tips which are always useful for an extra night out or when you are running a bit short on cash. They are usually flexible jobs which can be useful when you’re trying to work around studying and socialising. Whereas with jobs with set shift patterns to take a day off you would usually have to find cover, with jobs where the shifts change each week you can often ask for specific days off. Also, not having set shifts will mean they’ll probably be more inclined to give you time off to visit home or if you have big deadlines coming up. I also enjoy the social aspect of this type of work, you’ve got colleagues around you and you’re always engaging with members of the public which I found increased my confidence. With this there is always that sense of something different every shift and so it doesn’t get repetitive. My jobs also gave me free staff food which is always a plus.
Negatives of working in hospitality: As with all jobs there are negative of the industry. The flexibility of shifts can mean some weeks you have loads and some you’ll barley have any, I’ve had issues with both and have had to ask for my hours to be cut to the amount we agreed upon. Also, with working in bars and restaurants you’ll usually be working times when these are busy meaning evenings and weekends and while this is useful to fit around your university lectures it may mean you have to miss out on nights out or weekend activities, if you’re working. Because I had experience in the industry before going to university it was easier for me to find a job however I know friends with no experience who then found it difficult to find something when they arrived as they are popular jobs for students and so those who have that edge with their experience will find it easier to get a job. This means if you don’t have prior experience you may have to persevere, and it may take longer to find something so keep that in mind when applying.
Of course, all jobs you have while you are at university will have positives and negatives so you really need to weigh up what will work best for your situation. Hospitality can be a really good job when at university but if any of the negatives are deal breakers for you when it comes to a job it may be worth looking at something else that better suits your needs.