Things I learned in my Twenties

Should you Get a Part-time Job While Still in College?

The idea that you can only start your career once you’ve graduated from college is outdated. We not only live in a time when multi-tasking and remote work is possible, but we also have many resources at hand. The question is, why would one even get a job while still studying?

What’s so great about getting a part-time job?

Pros & Cons of Having a Part-time Job as a Student

  1. Learning beyond the scope of lectures and lab experiments.

You’d be surprised at the amount of information schools and universities can’t offer you. Besides tech-related softwares, schools don’t teach you the soft-skills you learn from independency and as a result of taking on a responsibility. Lessons like negotiation, knowing what your rights in the workplace are & absolute creativity.

2. Building your network and making connections

Life outside your squad is much bigger than you think. Working will allow you to expand your network and meet new creatives and talented people of different ages. You’ll not only connect with different groups, you’ll also be invited to social events and workshops that you can further learn from.

3. Independency

Learning how to be independent and buy yourself the things you like without having to wait for an allowance from your parents will change your life. You’ll learn a lot about budgeting and financing as well as the fact that you’d feel accomplished for earning your salary.

4. Responsibility

At school, we decide whether we want to submit an assignment or not, whether you show up for that 8 AM or not — at work you don’t have that luxury. Once you take on a task, other teammates depend on you to do it. You miss a deadline, you lose a client.

5. It’s easier to learn & adapt while you’re young

Get a job while still in college because you can. Don’t underestimate the power of your mind to adapt & learn new skills faster than most people in the industry. That is of course, if you’re willing to.

6. Most of the time, remote working

Generally, startups will be more susceptible to flexibility and remote work just as long as you get the work done and nothing is delayed. With COVID, I think we all learnt a lesson or two about the fact that remote work is not in fact, impossible. You can work from the comfort of your home or during your breaks between classes.

7. It doesn’t have to be related to your major

As a full-time engineering student and a part-time writer & social media manager, I can attest to that.

Creativity doesn’t require a degree, it requires consistency & the willingness to explore new mediums and styles.

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people”

– Leo Burnett

8. It’s fun

I’m not kidding when I say I love my job. It’s truly exciting when you’re a part of something bigger and something that you believe in, especially if what you’re doing is a hobby to you.

Of course, it’s not always rainbows & butterflies, there are some downsides of working while studying

I will not lie, there were many times where I wanted to quit and many many times where I lost control of everything.

  1. It’s easy to lose track of your priorities

A lot of times, I found myself prioritising a deadline to studying before an exam. A lot of times I postponed schoolwork and half-assed it for the sake of getting work done.

At times like this, it’s important to allow time of self-reflection and ask yourself: which is more important to you?

2. Time-management is a fairytale that doesn’t always come true

You will have sleepless nights, breakdowns, anxiety attacks, many rants to your friends about how much you’re pissed at your boss and many many self-doubts. You will spread yourself too thin sometimes and find it difficult to socialise or even simply enjoy ‘chilling with friends’. Many weeks will go by without you hitting the gym and without calling your friends back. You will find yourself daydreaming about work when you’re spending time with them and to be very honest, I promise I’m not overreacting here – it’s a lonely road.

On the bright side, these negative emotions are temporary and when you witness results of your work being appreciated and doing well, it’ll be worth it. You’d also start to appreciate time with your friends more; and only once you’ve felt so disorganised you’d be motivated to organise your life and manage your time. Once you reach that, everything will feel bloomy.

3. Multi-tasking is a blessing & a curse

While multi-tasking is a beautiful thing, it can get too exhausting sometimes. Sometimes it becomes harder to find your way back to staying focused.

Personally, as cliche as this sounds, yoga classes really helped me find my balance. It helped me remain grounded & recharged for the rest of the week. Turning off my phone while working also helped me big time! I noticed that as long as my phone was on, I’d be asked for more tasks, which would distract me from the task I was working on at the moment.

Statistic from:

In my opinion, getting a part-time job while still in engineering school, changed my life to the better. I have never been more grateful for the opportunities that opened up for me just because of part-time writing. Despite the exhaustion and the occasional negative thoughts, I love every single part of it & I really recommend it to anyone going through the same journey as me.

This sums up the pros & cons of getting a part-time job while still being a full-time college student.

If you haven’t already, follow my social media page where I constantly give tips on this topic. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any additional questions or advice to share!


By Elaf Trabulsi

Engineer & freelance writer

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