When it comes to part time work whilst at university, students often have very common fears about it. For majority of students, it’ll be the first time they will have a job and without having parents around to ask everything to it can be worrying. I want to aim to answer some of those questions here. Interviews, getting sick and balancing your life can all seem daunting but every student will have gone through it.
Will I be interviewed by numerous people?
This is a common thought when thinking of fears for jobs, numerous pairs of eyes staring at you. But the answer is no, when applying for part time jobs such as waiter, or shop assistant, you will probably only be interviewed by the manager. It is possible that a supervisor or the deputy manager will also be there, however, they may only be there for observation, to know how to interview themselves. It is very easy to overthink and assume that people are judging you on your answers. However, ultimately it doesn’t matter how many people are there provided you conduct yourself with dignity and calm.
What happens if I don’t know how to answer a question?
Don’t overthink it. There are many fears and this is a very easy trap to fall into. Interviewee’s assume that there is only one correct answer to a question such as what are your biggest weaknesses? When a lot of the time, the interviewer will want to get to know the real you. There is a caveat to this, don’t say your biggest weakness is your laziness or your bad time keeping. Keep them as positive negatives, a common one is you don’t want to stop until the job is done.
However, back to the original question. Not knowing how to answer is a quite common fear, nerves can mean you’re not as quick as thinking on your feet. If this is the case, then take a drink to calm yourself or just pause for a minute. I guarantee you that you pause for a few seconds will not seem that long and will benefit you overall rather than rushing an answer out.
What happens if I’m sick?
This is part of a number of tricky fears compounded by emotions. I always feel very guilty whenever I call in sick, but you have got to put yourself first sometimes. This can be hard; some bosses like to guilt trip you into coming into work anyway. However, working whilst at university is just a job to help you out. It is highly unlikely that it will be your life’s career so don’t invest all your effort into it. Ultimately be respectful, people are relying on you working so if you just don’t feel like it and send a text in, that’s not very good. Ensure you text in absolutely minimum the night before (whilst they are still open) or try and get someone to cover the shift yourself.
However, don’t call in sick too often. If you know you’re on shift the next day at 7am, maybe skip those drinks, I promise your social life will not end if you miss one evening out. It is a fine line to walk because you need to be responsible but also this is the time in your life where you will probably have the most freedom. Take advantage of it, don’t pick up extra shifts. Use that time instead to start that essay (save you stress later) or have a good chat to your roommate (bonding time you can never get back).
How will I balance my work, my degree, and my social life?
This is normally the first fear students think of. They’re so worried about doing too much at university, that they forget what they are capable of. Hand in hand with this is the idea of what university should be like. We all went to school before we came to university and this would generally be 6 hours of lessons, 9 to 3:30, followed by sports or after school clubs and then many of us would go home and do our homework too. This lifestyle does fall out of the window when we go to university primarily because we have no parents to regulate it. This is where your own self-control comes in.
Some courses will have more hours than others, however provided you plan out your day and don’t live hour by hour, you will be able to fit in more than you realise. Many students come to university with the idea that late nights, fast food and drinking will be the norm. Whilst some students do this, you will not be getting the most out of university that you can and honestly it’ll only take one or maybe two really bad hangover’s to convince you that you don’t want to ruin the next two days feeling sick and bad.
When it comes to balancing work alongside studies, this applies again to self-control. Ensuring that you say no to shifts offered to you unless you’re absolutely positive you have time to do them (generally, you don’t). And putting yourself first occasionally means that you will get the absolute best out of university that you can.
Don’t overthink what you can do but equally don’t under think. So many students leave university with a degree but very little else. There are many fears that could stop you from getting a job. Ensure that you have a fulfilling social life and somewhere to escape to. And no one will disagree when I say that a little bit of extra money is always nice.