You’re young, you’ve never had a job before. What do you look for? How do you know if it’s the right fit? What about school, how does that factor into everything? Babies, let your old Grandma here give you some tips to make your part-time job the best experience it can be. Believe me I know a thing or two about this.
1. Don’t commute
Don’t commute to your part-time job. It’s not worth the time or expense it’ll take to get there. By commute I mean going somewhere that’s more than 15 minutes from your house. You’re likely making minimum wage, so it’s just not worth it it to go farther than that unless you’re using a bike or something that’s cost and time effective. The part-time jobs I’ve had I could either walk to from where I was living or were a short drive away.
2. Practice your people skills
Part-time jobs are the perfect place to try out your people skills. Practice your public speaking so that next time you have to present in class you don’t freeze up. It also helps you to quickly gauge how to approach different people and situations. You never know who will show up to your place of work (assuming you’re working in something public facing like retail) so you’ll quickly start to pick up how to speak to people. You’ll just start to recognize the different vibes people give off so that you can adjust accordingly. This skill will serve you well the rest of your life, believe me.
3. Try out different industries
This is more for those who are only looking to work during vacations from school. If you’re only looking for something temporary, why not try out different types of places? You’ll never know what you like best and what you hate until you experience it for yourself. Naturally this isn’t feasible if you’re depending on the income but maybe instead you could talk to your manager and try on different hats within your part-time job. That way when you want to transition to something full time you’ll have experience in all of those different roles. On that note…
4. Take initiative
A part-time job is the best place to learn how to take initiative! Ask your boss what more you can do, offer up ideas on how to improve, etc. When you’re looking for something full time and need references, your bosses at your part-time job will remember the work that you put in and hopefully give you rave reviews.
5. Become friends or at least get to know your co-workers
Your co-workers are your biggest allies in any part-time job. They’re the ones with you on the front lines and who you will depend on to cover a shift when the need arises. You want them to like you. Of course, it’s impossible for everyone to always like you but just be courteous. If someone covers a shift for you, return the favor when you can. If they haven’t offer to cover so that they know you have their back.
Hopefully you’re never in this situation, but being on good terms with your co-workers means you’re likely to have back up if you ever have a problem with management. It might be that they’re going through the same but are afraid or unwilling to speak up on their own. There’s strength in numbers and you can effect more positive change within the company the more people that come together.
Make a budget for yourself! Learning good money habits is essential to your financial health now and in the future! If your part-time job is just for spending money, think up some categories and distribute your money accordingly. Some for food, some for fun, some for stuff, some for savings, some for essentials. Then just make sure you stick to it. When you end up getting a higher-paying full-time job you’ll know exactly what to do with your paycheck and you won’t be left wondering what happened to your hard earned money before the next check comes around.
7. Take advantage of discounts
Ok, so this goes against the previous advice, but only if you go crazy! If you’re saving up to move out or decorate your dorm and you work at a Target type store then this is a great idea. It can get expensive putting together all of those dorm essentials, and you don’t want all of your carefully saved money to disappear on bedding (Bedding is outrageously expensive, I truly don’t understand why). You’ll be able to stretch your dollar further during their back to school sales when you can stack an employee discount on top them.
Do you still want to work while you’re going to school elsewhere? See if your workplace has a location close to where you’ll be going to school! Or if you’re graduating and moving back home. Or even if you’re just looking for a change of scenery and need something to tide you over until a full-time job is found. It doesn’t hurt to ask and the worse that can happen is that they’ll say no, in which case you’re no worse off than before. If you’re only just starting your part-time job search this might be something to consider for the future. It never hurts to plan ahead!
9. Work your way up
Use your part-time job as an opportunity to gain some management and leadership experience! You’ll see an increase in hours, even if it’s not full-time, and it will usually come with an increase in pay! This will help to make you stand out in the future as you look for better and better jobs. It will also help so that if you do start at a new job, it hopefully won’t be from the bottom since you’ll have that extra experience under your belt.
How do you make the most out of your part-time job? Let me know in the comments below!
Featured Image via Pinterest, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/779474647985925721/
I'm a writer based in California. I received my Bachelor's and Master's in Literature from San Francisco State University. I dream of one day writing books of my own and maybe even being part of a writer's room for a show! I love to talk about pop culture, books, and travel to anyone willing to listen. Some of my favorite topics in those categories are "Avatar the Last Airbender", "Gilmore Girls", the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, Mexico, and Paris. My favorite thing in the world though is my dog, he's just the cutest!