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Making the most of your part-time job

BaristaPart-time jobs can help to fill your wallet while you study - but they can benefit you in other ways, too.

Make the most of a part-time job by:

Training up

A job isn’t just a way to earn money: it’s also a chance to gain new skills. You’ll pick some of these up on the job, but you should also keep an eye out for more formal training opportunities.

The skills you learn will often transfer to other, very different jobs - for example, customer service lessons learned in a café can be useful in any job that involves working with the public.

As a part-time worker, you have a legal right not to be left out of training if it’s available for full-time workers in the same job, so take the opportunity to build your skills.

Building your CV

Any work experience is valuable when you start building your career, and whatever your job you can make more of it by highlighting the right areas. Check out What are my skills? to help identify what parts of your job will look best on your CV.

You can also get an extra boost by seeking out responsibilities that will look good to employers, such as leading a team or taking on a specific project.

Make a note of anything you achieve to ensure you don't forget it when putting your CV together.

Getting a reference

When you apply for a full-time job, you'll probably need to ask the manager from your part-time job to give you a reference. To get the best reference you can:

  • Be punctual, polite and reliable: these are the basics that will make sure you don't get a bad reference
  • Go the extra mile when you can: if you're willing to help out with tasks beyond your the essentials, you'll be remembered for it
  • Make some noise: however hard you work, it won't show in your reference if your boss doesn't know about it - so make sure they're aware of what you have done

At home and at university

If you already have a part-time job at home, it might offer an easy way to find work at university. Many national companies allow students to work in one location during term-time and another during the holidays, which can save a lot of jobhunting time if you will be working while you study.

Starting your career

For many people, part-time jobs are just temporary - but they can also be a good way in to a career. An employer you’ve already worked for part-time knows your skills, and knows that they can rely on you.

Keep an eye out for internal job opportunities and ask managers or supervisors what opportunities there are for moving into a full-time career. If you’re being interviewed for a part-time job, you could even ask about this before you start. Not only will this give you an idea of whether the job could lead to a career, it suggests that you are interested in sticking aroung for a while, which could help your chances of landing the job.

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