Part-time Jobs: Expectations vs. Reality

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Have you always wanted some extra income while studying? Thought about taking on a part-time job in admin, retail, F&B, or more?

While it might seem like an easy way to make some extra cash while pursuing your educational goals, there are some myths and facts that you need to get straight before starting a part-time role. Let’s set some expectations straight about the reality of part-time jobs.

Myth: It’s A Brainless Job

You might think that a part-time job is just an easy way to earn money during your free time, but it isn’t as simple as that.

Even if you decide to pick a role in retail or admin where you’re mostly located in a single spot, such as a cashier or administrative assistant, it doesn’t mean that your work doesn’t matter. Every role requires a level of skill and learning capabilities in order for you to be efficient and effective. If you don’t take the time needed to do well at your job, you won’t be able to keep the job for long, or to even possibly parlay that role into a better position in the future.

More importantly, the repercussions of being bad at the role can be long-lasting. If you don’t manage the cash register properly, for example, that could lead to a problem with accounting, which could call into question your work conduct. At the same time, dropping the ball while handling administrative matters could result in lower efficiency and miscommunications throughout the company, which would come back to hurt you in terms of the performance review or bonus.

Myth: It’s Only A Few Hours A Week

Oftentimes, when planning for part-time roles, you work with the company to decide the number of hours you’ll work every week. This is decided in advance, so you might be committed to working 10 hours a week. However, that’s just in theory. In reality, you might have to do more than 10 hours a week when the workload is heavy.

For example, retail shop assistants usually have to take care of closing. That would technically happen at 9.30pm, when the shop officially closes, but when there are customers lingering in the store, or when you have to take stock, that could drag until 10pm. And not all companies provide part-time workers with overtime pay, so keep that in mind when applying.

Fact: You Will Be Tired

It’s not easy to work while schooling at the same time. (LINK) You’ll need energy to study and handle your exams, but you’ll also require that same amount of energy while you’re at work to handle all the responsibilities listed above. Expect some tiredness and stress, which will take some time to get used to. Your brain will be twice as busy learning, after all.

Fact: Your Socialisation Skills Will Be Tested

If you’re working in an office or shop or cafe, you’re bound to meet a lot of people. While this can be trying, especially if you’re in customer service, it’s also a great method to learn how to socialise with different groups of people. After all, this is a skill that you’ll need to learn when you start working full-time.

As an F&B crew, for example, you’ll need to handle multiple orders for different groups of people, but you’ll also be able to connect with regular customers who come in every day. With a part-time job, you’ll learn how to talk your way around complicated situations.

Fact: You Will Need To Multi-Task

Part-time jobs are tough because they usually involve multi-tasking by themselves, let alone when you add in schooling on top. From keeping track of your list of projects and deadlines, to studying for exams and looking your work schedules, there’ll be a million and one things on your to-do list. Time management will be an essential skill you’ll learn through taking on a part-time job!

Check out some part-time jobs on our GrabJobs platform now!

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