During my years in college, I found myself jumping from job to job. Looking back I wish I had saved more money or did something that would build my resume for the future. At first, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself until I was acclimated with school and my new schedule so I chose something that was flexible. Afterward, it was more about meeting new people since I was in a new city. Whether you are currently working or thinking about finding a new job, these tips should help you start thinking about what it is you want in a new position in the future.
1. Have benefits with your job (not just medical and dental)
I worked for Old Navy my first year of college. A majority of my checks went to buying new clothes. I received discounts from there, Gap, and Banana Republic. I found steals especially in the clearance section. Even though I wasn’t holding onto a lot of my funds, I was saving a lot from purchasing my clothes exclusively at these stories.
2. Actual benefits
Have you heard how Starbucks is paying 100% tuition for their employees (even to part-time) who attend Arizona State University? Take advantage of this. Research and find a job that will help you pay off the rest of your tuition or at least a percentage of it. Starbucks isn’t the only job that does this. I promise you’ll be grateful for it in the future.
3. Have it close to campus, dorm, or apartment
Almost all of my jobs were within a convenient distance from my home or at least close to school. I would be a quick bike ride or walk away from my jobs. This in turn also kept me active and allowed me to save time (and my sanity) by not being in heavy traffic. I also was able to have lunch at home (BONUS).
4. Flexibility for your school and your social life
My senior year of college was an overwhelming year with my class load, building my portfolio, and submitting applications to companies. I looked and found a job that could be flexible with my schedule. So, I worked for the school’s cafeteria. It wasn't the most glamorous job, but I was able to balance both work and school. I would work about 3-4 days a week, but the hours would be broken into 2-3 hour shifts with a 3-hour break in-between. I would be able to take a long lunch because the café shut down between meals or even go home and relax. I would acquire 25 hours in no time during the week. Also eating for free every day was a big bonus!
5. Work for a place that you already spend most of your time at:
There are exceptions to this rule. If your place is a restaurant and you're always working when your friends come in it can be easy to feel discontent with your job. No one wants to work while seeing their friends laughing and having a good time. Find something that fits appropriately. I had a friend who worked at the school library, which is a great idea. The library is a place where people are already working while you're working. You get free internet access and study time when it's slow.
6. Get serious and find a job that can go on your resume
Working as a TA in your major building is another good option. Another friend of mine worked in “The Cave” at my photo building. I spent a majority of my sophomore year in the darkroom or the lab printing. You might as well work at the equipment checkout station where you can also reserve items or acquire more knowledge and experience in your field. You’ll be able to obtain the experience that you need to pursue your dream job after college. One more word of advice, after you receive your degree you’ll realize how quickly you won’t like working for minimum wage or volunteering so you might as well do it in school.
Other jobs you could seek that may be a benefit to you are: laundry mats, resident advisor (free room and board), waitress, book and supplies store, student gym, airport, or coffee shop.
I hope you find happiness with whatever job you decide to pursue but before you do, take a minute, write a list of what is important to you, and then make your job fit your lifestyle.