By Gaby Ndongo (4 mins read)
Gaby Ndongo highlights some of the fruitful reasons why you should get a job while at varsity.
At first, the thought of being employed brought home three benefits: a source of income, a chance of putting into practice what he has learnt and to gain experience in the process.
Currently, with two years of experience in the job of tutoring journalism at the University of Johannesburg, he’s come to realise that there are more than those benefits. Much can be learnt from being employed and studying – either full-time or part-time.
1. It betters your interaction skills
Any job, desirable or not, includes some form of interaction with people. This extends to online marketing employment all the way to a sales consultant or a tutor.
Therefore, your interaction skills will be improved during the course of your employment, considering the fact that it will be a must for you to communicate with (a) particular group(s) of people, which include the staff of your company and/or its (potential) clients, as well as other external stakeholders.
From these interactions, you will get insights about what these groups of people like or dislike and such knowledge may help you in the workplace when you encounter people of similar behaviour.
Another upside includes you getting the chance to meet up with people, build (professional) relationships that may serve as networks for your future activities, and so keep those contacts in a safe place.
2. Teaches personal finance skills
Student life is not easy to maintain, especially if you do not have a bursary, you have to pay for your accommodation, transportation, tuition fees, buy food and prescribed books. every semester
Having a job provides you with a source of income to cut down on some of these costs. Additionally, you become to some extent financially independent, which is important for you to be while in varsity because the working world needs self-reliant people.
Another point is that earning a form of consistent income at varsity will give you regular opportunities to identify where you usually go wrong with your finances.
You become aware of your personal financial needs and wants. With this awareness, you may grow a habit of constantly budgeting in order to avoid unnecessary expenses. Thus, you’ll be in a position of making better financial decisions in the future.
If you plan your budget well and have some money left after dealing with all of the fundamental expenses, remember to spoil yourself a little once in a while to help keep you motivated. Or, save a rand or two for future unforeseeable circumstances or your long-term goal.
3. You absorb the required confidence for your skills
It is comforting to know that your skills will soon be able to fully, financially support you. Plus, noticing that people are recognising and valuing your aptitudes and are willing to pay for them while at varsity is a liberating feeling worth all the treasures in the world.
A person with a three-year experience in tutoring and an honours degree in his/her field is more likely to be employed as a junior lecture compared to someone who only has an honours degree.
So, the next time that you pass by your department or faculty, try asking the receptionist about the available positions for student employees such as tutor or student assistant posts. It will be an amazing experience to work in your industry.
4. It adds meat to a skeleton-like CV
It is not pleasant to leave varsity with an unhealthy CV. How will it survive the turbulent world after studies? Therefore, you need to add some meat on it. A good way of doing so is getting a job while studying and having your work experience, briefly outlining your duties and the skills you had to use, as part of your CV.
Volunteering programmes are wonderful, but it is much better to accompany them with employment experience because both have different demands.
The workplace requires for more work and the pressure is intense in contrast to most volunteering positions. Hence, having a reference in your CV who will comment on your skills and ability to deliver under recurring pressure for a potential employer will do you better.
5. Assist you to improve your time management
A colleague once said that having a job and studying full-time makes her time-savvy. It is true because as a student – who is putting in hours of work for a company, studying and revising, doing your assignments, preparing for tests and then later exams, and not to forget getting enough sleep – you don’t have time to waste.
All of these activities demand quality time. While some people will have the time allocated to each in writing, others prefer to store the plans in their mind, which may be problematic as you’ll grow a tendency of forgetting what needs to be done.
For the best part, try having those tasks written down somewhere noticeable. Eventually by so doing, you will develop methods that will improve your time management skills.
6. To get practical insight of “workplace politics”
We are taught about the bureaucracy of the workplace that has hierarchies of control, which in turn influence the power relations among workers. You get to experience such first-hand if you’re employed. One is exposed to the way that the boss treats his/her subordinates and also the manner that these subordinates respond to such treatment.
By observing these types of situations, you will become familiar with what behaviour works best for certain circumstances and different workplace environments. TOJ
Writing by Gaby Ndongo; Editing by Magnificent Mndebele and Kupakwashe Kambasha