Benefits of Getting a Part-Time Job

By Lauren Sharkey

Between classes, writing papers, cramming for exams, seeing friends, and sleeping – it’s almost impossible to even consider getting a part-time job.  Too often, our lives are so hectic that we can barely think of dedicating more of our time to anything that seems non-essential.  However, there are plenty of reasons, other than having some extra cash, to get a part-time job.  Additionally, now is the perfect time to hunt for a part-time job as many retailers are hiring for the holiday season!

1.  Extra Money

An obvious benefit of having a job is the extra money it puts in your pocket.  This means more money is going into your savings, towards your bills, or, if your budget allows it, into your fun money.  However, earning a paycheck is also a great way to build up your emergency fund, and to lay the groundwork in your savings for long-term goals (such as a car, digital camera, etc.).  And with Christmas on the way, now is a great time to start saving so you can get everyone on your list!

2.  Make New Friends

While I made a lot of friends when I first came to Stony Brook, a lot of my closest friends I met through various jobs I’ve had throughout the years.  My best friend, Katie, and I met when we were working at Barnes and Noble for the holiday season in 2008.  Now, five years later, we’ve moved on to bigger and better things but still remain close.  Depending on how many hours you plan to work, your part-time job, and the people you meet there, kind of become like your family.  And the bonds you make will definitely stay strong even after the lines have gone.

3.  Establish Connections

In addition to making new friends, there are other important relationships you will forge by going into the work force.  Your managers, supervisors, and team leaders can also serve as mentors, advisers, and important influences on your life.  The people you work with see a completely different side of you than your family, friends, or professors might.  When it comes time to ask for letters of recommendation, or references when you begin to move on, they will be happy to assist you!

4.  Prevent Procrastination

One of the things I love most about having a job, other than getting paid, is that it has really helped me with my procrastination.  Normally, I would put papers off till the week (or sometimes the night) before it was due – knowing I had nothing else going on and that I would have the time to pull an all-nighter to get the work done.  But now that my weekly work schedule changes, I always make sure I get my school work done long before the due date since I never know if I’m going to have the time later.

5.  Learning Important Life Skills

Your part-time job will teach you a lot about the industry your employer excels in – whether its retail, food service, or volunteering – there are always important life lessons to be learned.  For example, retail has taught me the value of patience and customer service.  No matter what career you find yourself in, being able to communicate in a clear, calm, and courteous manner is a skill that is valued highly.

When I worked in a restaurant over the summer, I learned that no job is too big or too small and that all people should be treated with respect no matter what their job description.  These are life lessons you can take with you beyond your part-time job and into your careers.

If you are looking for part-time work for the holiday season, check local retailers and inquire about their hiring process (many applications are online now – such as Old Navy, Bath and Body Works, Whole Foods, Panera, etc.).

You can also check ZebraNet for on and off-campus postings.

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