Part-time work, more than just extra cash

You can’t record part-time work on your HEAR, but it can contribute towards The Gold Award and you can record The Gold Award on your HEAR. As our annual Part-Time Jobs Fair approaches, Mark Chadwick, our Events and Placement Assistant in the Careers Service, outlines what you get out of your part-time job besides the money.

Back when I was a student in the glory days of my youth, on numerous occasions I found myself driving round the back lanes of Somerset sat next to a coffin. This was one of my first part-time jobs as a student working for an undertaker, (nothing sinister!) and I remember wondering how on earth I was going to make use of this experience on my rather bare CV.

It’s not ‘only part-time work’

I don’t think I was the only one. Sometimes, when we talk to students about their work experience and how it can help them after Goldsmiths, they wave their hand and say something like ‘oh it’s only part-time work’, as though it has no value. Whilst perhaps not as glamorous as interning at a big company or undertaking a work placement, the skills and experiences you can gain through part-time work are no less valuable or legitimate.

You gain key transferable skills

Most of us take on a part-time job to help bring in some cash to keep us going whilst we study; skills development opportunities don’t tend to be a factor in determining which part-time job we go for. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t overlook the ways in which we can put the experiences and skills we gain to good use in securing internships and jobs after graduation.

Skills employers look for

Some of the key skills and experiences that employers look for are the ability to communicate well, to work in a team, be proactive and hardworking, be able to deal with all sorts of people in all sorts of situations and be able to think on your feet. Can you gain any of these skills doing part-time or casual work? Absolutely, plus a whole load more.

Say you’re working in a packed out bar with a queue twelve people deep- that’s working under pressure. Busy serving a huge marquee of wedding guests? There’s teamwork in their somewhere. Trying to explain to a difficult customer why their favourite brand of cereal isn’t in stock? That’s customer relations, interpersonal skills, and maybe even some negotiation work. Cashing up? That’s a position of responsibility demonstrating that you are reliable, trusted and act with integrity.

You need to be able to talk about your skills

That said, it’s not enough simply having these skills and experiences. You need to be able to talk about them and how they make you a great person to employ. Think about what your aims and achievements were in your role, how you benefited your employer and what you’ve learnt that can benefit your next one. Use some good active verbs, think about what a prospective employer is looking for, and whatever you do, don’t discount some great experience just because it was part-time.

If you need any further help with this, always feel free to pop into the Careers Service where we’ll be delighted to give you a hand.

Goldsmiths Part-Time Jobs Fair
The Great Hall
Wednesday 7 October, 12 – 3 pm 

Check out our Local Part Time Jobs Board for more local vacancies. You can find it in the Careers Service, 23-24 Laurie Grove.

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