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Finding Flexible Employment

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 19 Apr 2012 | comments*Discuss
Part Time Work Job Part Time Employment

Right or wrong money makes the world go round. We need it to buy food, clothes and shelter, but more frivolously we need it to dress up, go out and have fun! Even though it’s practically required that students live on a shoestring and become, ahem, creative with their spending habits, a lot of this stress can be alleviated with some simple part time work. If you’re considering finding flexible employment, seriously consider a part time job.

What is a Part Time Job?

There is no technical definition of part time work in the UK, but anything less than 35 hours per week is usually considered part time employment. This work can be spread over several full days per week, for several hours per weekday, or even all shoved in at the weekend. This work can be in the morning, afternoon or evening, and some part time work even offers overnight shifts for night owls. If you’re really lucky, you might even be able to choose your own hours each week. Make sure you figure out your optimal work schedule and availability before applying for a part time job, and try to negotiate with your employer to get as close to this schedule as you can manage.

What is the Pay Like for a Part Time Job?

As with any employment, the pay rate for a part time job will differ according to the nature of the work, the position, your qualifications and even your location. The national minimum wage for those under the age of 18 and no longer of compulsory school age is £3.68 per hour. This jumps to £4.98 per hour when you are between the ages of 18 and 20, and to £6.08 per hour when you are aged 21 or older. Lucky for you there is no maximum wage for part time employment, so read up on similar positions and don’t be afraid to ask for a competitive wage.

But I’m a Student, Why Should I Bother with Part Time Work?

Part time work is flexible so you can schedule it around University and your other commitments. Not only will this bring you in a nice pay packet, but it will also give you work experience to put on your CV. No matter what type of part time job you undertake you will also hone the “soft skills” that all employers look for, including:
  • Maturity
  • Responsibility
  • Independence
  • Relationship building
  • Decision making
  • Time management
  • Organisation

Do I At Least Get Holidays with a Part Time Job?

All employees, no matter how many hours per week they work, are entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday per year. The catch here is that you are entitled to weeks of your normal working hours, so make sure that you establish a nice pattern of work to justify the holidays you wish to take. Paid bank holidays may be at the discretion of your employer, so make sure to ask about those, and find out how far in advance you will need to ask permission to take your holidays so you won’t be disappointed when the time comes for you to jet off to afar.

So How Do I Get One of these Part Time Jobs?

Luckily, part time employment is flourishing in the UK right now. In order to apply for a job you’ll need to:
  • Create a CV.
  • Draft a cover letter that highlights your skills and experience.
  • Have an expert – or friend - check these documents to make sure you have formatted them correctly and included all relevant information.
  • Look in your local papers, shop windows and notice boards for job adverts.
  • Ask family, friends and classmates for contacts.
  • Use job sites on the Internet to look for work.
  • Practice answering interview questions with friends and family.
  • Splurge on the kind of classic, appropriate outfit (think shirt and tie, conservative skirt, etc.) convince your interviewer that you are the best person for the job.
  • Show up a little early for your interview.
  • Bring a few extra copies of your CV just in case.
Applying for a part time job may seem like one more thing to add to your over-stuffed To Do list, but remember the many benefits of finding work to spur you on. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t land the first part time job you apply for, and do be persistent because something will come up. When you do land your dream job, be conscientious and attentive because it very well could be your first step on the career ladder. Good luck!

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