Jobs and work experience, Money

Live to work or work to live

I am part of a number of students who have a part time job, in my case once in a week in a shop. It’s actually quite common in the optometry course, although most people work in an opticians to gain experience with patients and how the optical world works.  Some people choose to work during the weekends, some during gaps during lectures, for example on Wednesday afternoon.

Whichever you choose, if you choose to work during studies, it is important to also leave time for your studies, after all they are the main reason you are in Cardiff. Also don’t spend all the time working at uni or earning money, it is important to have time to relax and switch off. If you don’t two things will happen:

  1. You will develop a reputation as being an unsocialable sod.
  2. You will burn out which won’t do you, your studies or your employer any good.

There are several routes you can take if you choose to work during your studies:

  1. Continue an existing job you have from home, if you work for a large chain with multiple stores be it a supermarket, clothes store or opticians then you may well be able to arrange a transfer by speaking to your manager.
  2. Look around for a job, here in Cardiff. There are a lot of shops, pubs and clubs that need staff. If you don’t want to work in a shop there are also jobs as roving photographers, call centres and all sorts if you look around.
  3. Possibly the easiest option – register with the university job shop. Located on the ground floor of the student’s union the jobshop sends you regular emails with details of any jobs going, it might be exam invigilation one week, serving in a bar at the Millennium stadium the next or directing guests to their seats and selling programmes at the Motorpoint arena. You just submit a timesheet every week you have worked for and once signed off the money is paid directly to you once a fortnight.

Personally I chose route 1 but also do a bit of route 3, but that is because I have a lot of fees to pay without any loan (the joys of second degrees). It’s really up to you, what your finances are like and whether you need or want to work. As the jobshop like to remind people:

“Don’t forget – paid employment enables you to gain valuable experience and work related skills, which can improve your graduate employability!”



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